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PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR
Author of " Lyrics of Lowly Life,' 5
"Candle-Lightin' Time," etc.
Dodd, Mead and Company
By Dodd, Mead and Company.
TO MY FRIEND
EDWIN HENHY KEEN
Digitized by the Internet Archive
I. LOVE AND POLITICS
II. THE PARTING OF TWO WAYS
IV. SONS AND FATHERS
V. " THE POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE
VI. A LONE FIGHT
VII. DIVIDED HOUSES .
VIII. AS A MAN THINKETH IN HIS HEART
IX. A LETTER FROM THE FRONT
X. SORROW MAY LAST FOR A NIGHT
XI. AT HOME ....
XII. A JOURNEY SOUTH
XIII. A STEWART COMES TO HIS OWN
XIV. THE CONTRABANDS
XV. LICENSE OR LIBERTY .
XVI. DOLLY AND WALTER
XVII. WHEN LOVE STANDS GUARD
XVIII. AN AFFAIR OF HONOR .
XIX. JUSTICE 228
XX. THE VISION OF THE BLACK EIDER 245
XXI. A VAGUE QUEST .... 256
XXII. THE HOMECOMING OF THE CAPTAIN 266
XXIII. A TROUBLESOME SECRET . . 280
XXIV. ROBERT VAN DOREN GOES HOME . 290
XXV. CONCLUSION 305
LOVE AND POLITICS
The warmth of the April sunshine had brought
out the grass, and Mary Waters and Bob Van
Doren trod it gleefully beneath their feet as they
wended their way homeward from the outskirts
of the town, where Mary had gone ostensibly to
look for early spring blossoms and where Bob
had followed her in quest of a pet setter that
was not lost.
The little town was buzzing with excitement
as the young people entered it, but they did not
notice it, for a sweeter excitement was burning
in their hearts.
Bob and Mary had been engaged for three
months, a long time in those simple days in
Ohio, where marriages were often affairs of a
glance, a word and a parent's blessing. The
parent's blessing in this case had been forthcom-
2 , THE FANATICS
ing too, for while the two widowed fathers could
not agree politically, Stephen Van Doren being
a staunch Democrat, and Bradford Waters as
staunch a Republican, yet they had but one mind
as to the welfare of their children.
They had loud and long discussions on the ques-
tion of slavery and kindred subjects, but when it
came to shaking hands over the union of Bob and
Mary, they were as one. They had fallen out
over the Missouri Compromise and quarrelled
vigorously over the Fugitive Slave Law ; but
Stephen had told his son to go in and win, for
there was not a better girl in the village than
Mary, and Bradford had said " Yes " to Bob when
On this day as the young people passed down
Main street, oblivious of all save what was in
their hearts, some people who stood on the out-
skirts of a crowd that was gathered about the
courthouse snickered and nudged each other.
" Curious combination," old man Thorne said
to his nearest neighbor, who was tiptoeing to get
a glimpse into the middle of the circle.
" What's that ? "
" Look a-there," and he pointed to the lovers
who had passed on down the street.
" Greewhillikens," said the onlooker, " what
a pity somebody didn't call their attention ;
wouldn't it ' a' been a contrast, though ? "
LOVE AND POLITICS 3
" It would ' a' been worse than a contras' ; it
would ' a' been a broken engagement, an' perhaps
a pair o' broken hearts. Well, of all fools, as the
say in' is, a ol fool is the worst."
" An' a Southern fool up North who has grown
old in the South," said Johnson, who was some-
what of a curbstone politician.
" Oh, I don't know," said Thorne placidly,
"different people has different ways o' thinkin'."
" But when you're in Rome, do as Rome does,"
" Most men carries their countries with them.
The Dutchman comes over here, but he still eats
" Oh, plague take that. America for the
Americans, I say, and Ohio for the Ohioans.
Old Waters is right."
" How long you been here from York state ? "
" Oh, that ain't in the question."
"Oh, certainly not. It's alius a matter o'
whose ox is gored."
The matter within the circle which had awak-
ened Mr. Johnson's sense of contrast was a hot
debate which was just about terminating. Two
old men, their hats off and their faces flushed,
were holding forth in the midst of the crowd.
One was Stephen Van Doren, and the other was
The former had come up from Virginia some-
4 THE FANATICS
time in the forties, and his ideas were still the
ideas of the old South. He was a placid, gentle-
manly old man with a soldierly bearing and
courtly manners, but his opinions were most
decided, and he had made bitter enemies as well
as strong friends in the Ohio town. The other
was the typical Yankee pioneer, thin, wiry and
excitable. He was shouting now into his op-
ponent's face, " Go back down South, go back to
Virginia, and preach those doctrines ! "
"They've got sense enough to know them
down there. It's only up here to gentlemen like
you that they need to be preached."
" You talk about secession, you, you ! I'd like
to see you build a fence unless the rails would all
stand together — one rail falling this way, and
another pulling that."
The crowd laughed.
" I'd like you to show me a hand where one
linger wasn't independent of another in an emer-
"Build a fence," shouted Waters.
" Pick up a pin ! " answered Yan Doren.
" You're trying to ruin the whole country ;
you're trying to stamp on the opinions that the
country has lived for and fought for and died
" Seven states have seceded, and I think in
some of those seven were men who lived and
LOYE AKD POLITICS 5
fought and even died for their country. Yes,
sir, I tell you, Yankee as you are, to your face,
the South has done for this country what you
buying and selling, making and trading Yankees
have never done. You have made goods, but the
South has produced men." The old man was
" Men, men, we can equal any you bring."
" Calhoun ! "
" Sumner ! "
" Webster ! "
" We shall claim Douglass ! "
" Lincoln ! "
" I should have said the South produced gen-
tlemen, not rail-splitters. We don't make states-
men of them."
" We produce men, and we'd make soldiers of
them if it was necessary."
" Well, it may be."
" Oh, no, it won't. Even the state that gave
birth to men like you, Stephen Yan Doren,
wouldn't dare to raise its hand against the
" Wait and see."
" Wait and see ! I don't need to wait and see.
"Bah, you're all alike, dreamers, dreamers,
6 THE FANATICS
" Dreamers, maybe, but my God, don't wake
The crowd began to break as it saw that the
argument was over, and the bystanders whis-
pered and laughed among themselves at the vehe-
mence of the two men.
" Time wasted listening."
" War — pshaw ! "
Just then a newsboy tore into the square shout-
ing, " Paper, paper ! " and every heart stood still
with ominous dread at the next words, "Fort
Sumter fired on ! " The crowd stood still, and
then with one accord, formed around the old
A slow smile covered Stephen Van Doren's
lips as he stood facing Bradford Waters.
" Well, they've done it," he said.
" Yes," replied the other, wavering from the
shock, " now what are you going to do about
The old man straightened himself with sudden
fire. He took off his hat and his thin white
hair blew hither and thither in the cool spring
" I'll tell you what I'm going to do about it.
I'll tell you what I'm going to do, when the call
comes, I'm going down there and I'll help whip
them out of their boots — and if they won't take
LOYE AND POLITICS 1
me, I'll send a son. Now what are you going to
Bradford Waters was known as a religious
man, but now he turned and raising his hand to
" God grant that we or our sons may meet
where the right will win, you damned copper-
head, you ! "
In an instant Yan Doren's fist shot out, but
some one caught his arm. Waters sprang to-
wards him, but was intercepted, and the two
were borne away by different crowds, who were
thunderstruck at the awful calamity which had
fallen upon the nation.
The two old men sweated to be loosed upon
each other, but they were forcibly taken to their
Over the gate of the Waters' cottage, Bob
Yan Doren leaned, and Mary's hand was in his.
THE PARTING OF THE WAYS
" Don't you think a little cottage down by the
river would be the best thing, Mary ? " asked
"And then you'd be away from me every
minute you could spare fishing. I know you,
Bob Van Doren."
From the inside of the house Mary's brother
Tom " twitted " the two unmercifully.
" I say there, Bob," he called, " you'd better
let Mary come in and help about this supper. If
you don't, there'll be a death when father comes
Mary's father was gentle with her, and this
remark of her brother's was so obviously hyper-
bolic that she burst out laughing as she flung
back, " Oh, I guess you've kept Nannie Woods
from her work many a time, and there haven't
been any deaths in that family yet."
" But there may be in this if Luke Sharpies
catches you sparking around Nannie," interposed
THE PAKTING OF THE WAYS 9
" Oh, I can attend to Luke any day."
" That's so, Luke isn't a very fast runner."
Tom threw a corncob out of the door and it
struck Bob's hat and knocked it off. " There's an
answer for you," he called.
They were still laughing and Mary's face was
flushed with love and merriment when Bradford
Waters came up and strode silently through the
" I must go in now," said Mary.
" So soon ? Why it's hardly time to put the
potatoes on yet."
" Suppose sometimes you should come home
and find your supper not ready ? "
" Oh, I wouldn't mind if you were there."
Just then Bradford Waters' voice floated an-
grily out to them,
"What's that young whelp hanging around
my gate for ? "
The girl turned pale, and her heart stood still,
but the young man only laughed and shouted
back, " What's the matter, Mr. Waters, you and
father been at war again ? "
" Yes, we've been at war, and soon we shall
all be at war. Some of your dirty kinsmen have
fired on Fort Sumter."
" What ! "
" Yes, and there'll be hell for this day's work,
you mark my words." The old man came to the
10 THE FANATICS
door again, and his son stood behind him, hold-
ing his arm. " Get away from my gate there.
Mary, come in the house. I've got better busi-
ness for you than skylarking with copperheads."
The girl stood transfixed. " What is it, father,
what is it ? " cried Tom.
" I tell you, those Southern devils have fired
on Fort Sumter, and it means war ! Get away
from here, Bob Van Doren. There is a time
when men must separate on the ground of their
beliefs, and this house has no dealing with the
enemies of the Union, Marv."
But the girl's eyes were flashing, and her lips
compressed. " Go in, Mary," said Bob, and he
dropped her hand. His face was red and pale
by turns. She turned and went into the house,
and her lover left the gate and walked down the
" Let this be the last time I catch you talking
with one of the Yan Dorens. We are two fami-
lies on opposite sides of a great question. We
can have no dealings, one with the other."
" But father, you gave Bob the right to love
me, and you can't take it back, you can't."
" I can take it back, and I will take it back.
I'd rather see you marry Nigger Ed, the town
crier, than to cross my blood with that Yan
Doren breed. To-day, Stephen Yan Doren re-
joiced because his flag had been fired upon. The
THE PAKTING OF THE WAYS 11
flag he's living under, the flag that protects him
wherever he goes ! "
" That wasn't Bob, father."
" Like father, like son," broke in Tom passion-
" Why, Tom ! " Mary turned her eyes, grief-
filled to overflowing upon her brother, "you
and he were such friends ! "
" I have no friends who are not the friends of
my country. Since I know what I know, I
would not take Bob Van Doren's hand if he
were my brother."
" If he were Nannie Woods' brother ? "
" Nannie Woods is a good loyal girl, and her
affections are placed on a loyal man. There is
no division there."
" Bob is right, Mary. We have come to the
parting of the ways. Those who hold with the
South must go with the South. Those who hold
with the North must stand by the flag. We are
all either Union men or we are rebels."
"But father, what of Vallandigham ? You
have always said that he was a noble man."
" Vallandigham ? Let me never hear his
name again ! In this house it spells treason. I
can make some allowance for the Southerner,
living among his institutions and drawing his
life from them ; but for the man who lives at
the North, represents Northern people and fills
12 THE FANATICS
his pockets with the coin which Northern hands
have worked for, for him, I have only contempt.
Such men hide like copperheads in the grass,
and sting when we least expect it. Weed them
out, I say, weed them out ! "
The old man shook with the passion of his
feelings, and his face was ashen with anger.
There had been a time when Yallandigham was
his idol. He had gone against his party to help
vote him into Congress, and then
It was a strangely silent meal to which the
three sat down that night. Tom was feverishly
anxious to be out for news, and Mary with tear-
stained face sat looking away into space. There
was a compression about her lips that gave her
countenance a wonderful similarity to her
father's. She could not eat, and she could not
talk, but her thoughts were busy with the events
that were going on about her. How she hated it
all — the strife, the turmoil, the bickerings and dis-
agreements. The Union, Confederacy, abolition,
slavery, the North, the South ; one the upper,
the other, the lower millstone, and between
them, love and the women of the whole country.
Why could not they be let alone ? Was there not
enough to be sacrificed that even the budding
flower of love must be brought too ? It was
hard, too hard. She loved Bob Yan Doren.
What did she care with which side he sympa-
THE PARTING OF THE WAYS 13
thized ? She loved Bob, not his politics. What
had she to do with those black men down there
in the South, it was none of her business ? For
her part, she only knew one black man and he
was bad enough. Of course, Nigger Ed was
funny. They all liked him and laughed at him,
but he was not exemplary. He filled, with equal
adaptability, the position of town crier and town
drunkard. Really, if all his brethren were like
him, they would be none the worse for having
masters. Anyhow, her father had not been
always so rigid, for he laughed when somebody
stole the Bible from the colored folks' meeting-
house, and wondered what they could do with a
Her reverie was broken by her brother's rising
from the table.
" I'm going out to see what's going on," he
" I'll walk up the street with you," said his
They took their hats and went out, and with a
grey face, but set lips, the daughter went about
her evening's work.
When they reached the courthouse a crowd
was gathered there, and rumors and stories of all
kinds were passing from lip to lip. Another
crowd was gathered on the opposite side of the
street, hooting and jeering, while now and then
U THE FANATICS
some self-appointed orator harangued it. The as-
sembly was composed of some of the worst ele-
ments of the town, reinforced by the young
sports of some of the best families. Altogether,
it was a combination of hot blood and law-
An old friend of the Waters', who had been
listening to the noisier crowd, brushed against
the two men, and said under his breath, " Come
on home, there's hell's work brewing here to-
" Then I'll stay and be in it," said the older
" There's nothing you can help about," replied
the friend. " You'd better come."
" No, we'll stay."
The lawless element, emboldened at the news
of Sumter's disaster, determined to have some
fun at the expense of their opponents. With
one accord, they surged towards the office of the
Republican, armed with horns, and whistled,
hooted and jeered themselves hoarse.
" This is child's play," said Bradford Waters
to his son," if this is all they're going to do, we
might as well go home."
They went back to the house, where for hours
they could hear the horns and whistles of the
It was near midnight, when they were awak-
THE PASTING OF THE WAYS 15
ened by the clanging of a bell, and they heard
Nigger Ed as he sped past the house, crying,
" Fiah, fiah ! De 'Publican buildin' on fiah, tu'n
out ! "
The Waters were dressed and out of the house
in a twinkling and had joined the crowd of men
and boys who, with shouts and grunts, were tug-
ging at the old hose-cart. Then they strained
and tore their way to the Republican office
where the fire had made terrible headway. The
hose was turned on the building, and the pumps
started. The flames crackled and the water
hissed and like an echo there floated to the ears
of the toiling men the cry of the rioters far away
in another part of the town. They had done
their work. It had, perhaps, come about unin-
tentionally. They had only met to jeer; but
finally some one threw a stone. The sound of
crashing glass filled them with the spirit of de-
struction. A rioter cried, "Fire the damned
shanty ! " There were cries of " No ! No ! " but
the cry had already been taken up, and a brand
had been flung. Then madness seized them all
and they battered and broke, smashed and tore,
fired the place and fled singing with delirious joy.
The work of the firemen was of no avail, and
in an hour the building and its contents were
a confused mass of ashes, charred beams and
16 THE FANATICS
When the Waters reached home, Mary, wide-
eyed, white and shivering, sat up waiting for
them. She hurried to give them each a cup of
coffee, but asked no questions, though her hungry
eyes craved the news. She sat and stared at
them, as they eagerly drank.
Then her father turned to her. " Well/' he said,
" here's another sacrifice to the spirit of rebellion
in the North. A man ruined, his property de-
stroyed. They have burned the Republican,
but they can't burn the principle it stood for, and
the fire they lighted to-night will leave a flame in
the heart of loyal citizens that will burn out
every stock and stubble of secession, and disloy-
alty. Then woe to the copperheads who are
hiding in the grass ! When the flames have
driven them out, we will trample on them, tram-
ple on them ! " The old man rose and ground
his heel into the floor.
Mary gave a cry, and shivering, covered her
face with her hands.
There were many other men in Dorbury no
less stirred than was Bradford Waters over the
events of the night, and the news from Charles-
ton harbor. The next day saw meetings of the
loyal citizens in every corner of the little town,
which at last melted into one convention at the
courthouse. Those who had no southern sympa-
thies had been stung into action by the unwar-
ranted rashness of the rioters, which brought the
passions of the time so close to themselves.
The one question was asked on all sides : How
soon would the president call for troops to put
down this insurrection, and even as they asked
it, the men were organizing, recruiting, drilling
and forming companies to go to the front. The
Light Guards, the local organization, donned
their uniforms and paraded the streets. Already
drums were heard on all sides, and the shrill cry
of the fifes. In that portion of the town where
lived a number of wealthy Southerners, there
was the quiet and desolation of the grave.
18 THE FANATICS
Their doors were barred and their windows
were shut. Even they could not have believed
that it would come to this, but since it had come,
it was too soon for them to readjust themselves
to new conditions, too soon to go boldly over to
the side of the South, or changing all their tradi-
tions, come out for the North and the Union,
which in spite of all, they loved. So they kept
silent, and the turmoil went on around them.
The waves of excitement rolled to their very
doors, receded and surged up again. Through
their closed blinds, they heard the shouts of the
men at the public meeting a few blocks away.
They heard the tramping of feet as the forming
companies moved up and down. The men knew
that many of their employees were away, min-
gling with the crowds and that work was being
neglected, but they kept to their rooms and to
" Ah," said one, " it's a hard thing to make us
choose between the old home and the old flag.
We love both, which the better, God only knows."
The children came home from school and told
how one of the teachers was preparing to go to
war, and it brought the situation up to their
very faces. Those were, indeed, terrible times
when preceptors left their desks for the battle-
field. But still their hearts cried within them,
"What shall we do?"
In the afternoon of the day following the con-
vention, Nannie Woods came over for a chat
with Mary "Waters. They were close friends,
and as confidential as prospective sisters should
" Do you think they will fight ? " asked Nannie.
" The South ? Yes, they will fight, I am sure
of it. They have already shown what is in
them. Father and Tom think it will be easy to
subdue them, but I feel, somehow, that it will be
a long struggle."
"But we shall whip them," cried the other
girl, her eyes flashing.
"I don't know, I don't know. I wish we
didn't have to try."
" Why, Mary, are you afraid ? "
" Oh, no, I'm not afraid, but there are those I
love on both sides and in the coming contest,
whichever wins, I shall have my share of
" Whichever wins ! Why you haven't a single
friend in the South ! "
"I have no friend in the South — now."
" Oh, you mean Rob Yan Doren. Well, if he
didn't think enough of me to be on my side, I'd
send him about his business."
" A man who didn't have courage enough to
hold to his own opinions wouldn't be the man
20 THE FANATICS
" A man who didn't have love enough to change
his opinions to my side wouldn't be the man for
"Very well, Nannie, we can't agree."
" But we're not going to fall out, Mary," and
Nannie threw her arms impulsively around her
friend's neck. "But oh, I do long to see our
boys march down there and show those rebels
what we're made of. What do you think ?
Father says they claim that one of them can whip
five Yankees, meaning us. Well, I'd like to see
them try it."
" Spoken like a brave and loyal little woman,"
cried Tom, rushing in.
"Eavesdropping," said Nannie coquettishly,
but Mary turned her sad eyes upon him.
"I am no less loyal than Nannie," she said,
"and if the worst comes, I know where my
allegiance lies, but — but — I wish it wasn't neces-
sary, I wish it wasn't necessary to take sides."
" Never you mind, Mary, it's going to be all
right. We'll whip them in a month or two."
" We ! " cried Nannie. " Oh, Tom, you're
never going ? "
" Why, what should I be doing when men are
at war ? "
" But will there be war ? "
" There is war. The South has fallen out of
step and we shall have to whip them back into
line. But it won't be long, two or three months
at most, and then all will be quiet again. It may
not even mean bloodshed. I think a display of
armed force will be sufficient to quell them."
" God grant it may be so."
Tom turned and looked at his sister in an
amused way. " Oh, you needn't be afraid, Mary,
Bob Van Doren won't go. Copperheads only
talk, they never fight, ha, ha."
" Tom Waters, that's mean of you," Nannie
exclaimed, " and it's very little of you, for a day
or two ago Bob was your friend." She held
Mary closer as she spoke, but Tom Waters was
imbued with the madness that was in the air.
" What," he burst out, " Bob Van Doren my
friend ! I have no friend except the friends of
the Union, I tell you, and mark my words, when
the others of us march away, you will find him
skulking with the rest of his breed in the grass,
where all snakes lie."
" Bob Van Doren is no coward," said Mary in-
tensely, "and when the time comes, he will be
found where his convictions lead, either boldly
on the side of the Union or fighting for the cause
which his honor chooses, you " She broke
down and burst into tears.
" Oh, dry up, Mary," Tom said, with rough
tenderness, " I didn't mean to hurt your feelings.
Rob's a good enough fellow, but oh, I wish he
22 THE FANATICS
was on our side. Don't cry, Mary, he's a first-
rate fellow, and I — I'll be friends with him."
" Tom, you go away," cried Nannie, " you're
just like all men, a great big, blundering — don't
cry, Mary, don't cry. Mind your own business,
Tom Waters, nobody wants you officiating around
here, you've put your foot in it, and if you get
smart, Mary and I will both turn rebel. Take
your arm away."
" A pretty rebel you'd make."
"I'd make a better rebel than you would a
"All right, I'll show you," and the young
man went out and slammed the door behind
"Now you've hurt his feelings," said Mary,
suddenly drying her tears.
"I don't care, it was all your fault, Mary
Waters." Then they wept in each other's arms
because they were both so miserable.
Just then, the negro known as Nigger Ed,
came running down the street. " Laws, have
mussy on us, dey's hangin' Mistah Y'landi'ham ! "
The hearts of the two girls stood still with
horror for the moment, and they clutched each
other wildly, but the taint of Eve conquered, and
they hurried to the door to get the news.
" Nigger Ed, Nigger Ed ! " they called, and the
colored man came breathlessly back to them.
" What did you say as you passed the house ?
They're hanging Mr. Yallandigham ? "
" Yes'm, dey's hangin' him up by de co'thouse,
a whole crowd o' men's a-hangin' him. Yo'
fathah's 'mongst 'em, missy," he said turning to
"My father helping to hang Yallandigham!
Oh, what are we coming to ? Isn't it a terrible
thing ? Why, it's murder ! "
Nannie called across to a friend who was pass-
ing on the other side of the street, " Oh, Mr.
Smith, can it be true that they are hanging Yal-
landigham ? "
The friend laughed. " Only in effigy," he said.
" Get along with you, Ed," said Nannie indig-
nantly ; " running around here scaring a body to
death ; they're only hanging him in effigy.^
"Effigy, e&gy, dat's whut dey said, but hit
don't mek no diffunce how a man's hung, des so
" Go along, you dunce, it's a stuffed Yalland-
igham they're hanging."
" Stuffed ! " cried Ed, " I t'ought Q&igy meant
his clothes. Lawd bless yo' soul, missy, an' me
brekin' my naik runnin' f'om a stuffed co'pse. I
reckon I 'larmed half de town," and Ed went on
" And it's for those people our brothers and
fathers are going to war ? "
24 THE FANATICS
" Oh, no, not at all," said Nannie. " It's for
the Union and against states' rights, and — and —
everything like that."
" Those people are at the bottom of it all, I
know it. I knew when that book by Mrs. Stowe
came out. They're at the bottom of all this
trouble. I wish they'd never been brought into
"Why, how foolish you are, Mary, what on
earth would the South have done without them ?
You don't suppose white people could work down
in that hot country ? "
"White people will work down in that hot
country, and they will fight down there, and oh,
my God, they will die down there ! "
" Mary, you cry now at the least thing. I be-
lieve you're getting a touch of hysteria. If you
say so, I'll burn some feathers under your nose."
" It isn't hysterics, Nannie, unless the whole
spirit of the times is hysterical, but it is hard to
see families that have known and loved each
other for so long suddenly torn asunder by these
" But the women folks needn't be separated.
They can go on loving each other just the same."
" No, the women must and will follow their
natural masters. It only remains for them to
choose which shall be their masters, the men at
home, or those whom they love outside."
" "Well, with most of us that will be an easy
matter, for our lovers and the folks at home
agree — forgive me, Mary, I mean no reflection
upon you, and I am so sorry."
" We are not all so fortunate, but however it
comes, our women's hearts will bear the burdens.
The men will get the glory and we shall have the
" Hooray ! " Tom's voice floated in from the
street, and he swung in at the gate, singing gaily,
his cap in his hand.
"Oh, what is it, Tom?" cried Nannie,
" what's the news ? "
" The bulletin says it is more than likely that
the president will call for volunteers to-morrow,
and I'm going to be the first lieutenant in the
company, if the Light Guards go as a body."
" Oh, my poor brother ! "
" Poor nothing, boom, boom, ta, ra, ra, boom,
forward march ! " And Tom tramped around
the room in an excess of youthful enthusiasm.
He was still parading, much to Nannie's pride
and delight when his father entered and stood
looking at him. His eyes were swollen and
dark, and there were lines of pain about his
" Ah, Tom," he said presently, " there'll be
something more than marching to do. I had ex-
pected to go along with you, but they tell me
26 THE FANATICS
I'm too old, and so I must be denied the honor
of going to the front ; but if you go, my son, I
want your eyes to be open to the fact that you
are going down there for no child's play. It will
be full grown men's work. There will be uni-
forms and shining equipments, but there will be
shot and shell as well. You go down there to
make yourself a target for rebel bullets, and a
mark for Southern fevers. There will be the
screaming of fifes, but there will also be the
whistling of shot. The flag that we love will
float above you, but over all will hover the dark
wings of death."
" Oh, father, father," cried Mary.
" It is a terrible business, daughter."
Tom had stood silent in the middle of the floor
while his father was speaking, and now he drew
up his shoulders and answered, " Don't be afraid
of me, father, I understand it all. If I go to the
war, I shall expect to meet and endure all that
the war will bring, hardships, maybe worse. I'm
not going for fun, and I don't think you'll ever
have reason to be ashamed of me."
Mary flung herself on her father's breast and
clung to him as if fearful that he also might be
taken from her. But Nannie, with burning face,
ran across and placed her hand in Tom's.
" That's right, Tom, and I'm not afraid for
you." The young man put his hand tenderly
upon the girl's head, and smiled down into her
"You're a brave little woman, Nannie," he
said. The deep menace of the approaching con-
test seemed to have subdued them all.
" I'm not afraid for my son's honor," said Brad-
ford Waters proudly, " but we must all remem-
ber that war brings more tears than smiles, and
makes more widows than wives."
" We know that," said Nannie, " but we women
will play our part at home, and be brave, won't
The girl could not answer, but she raised her
head from her father's shoulder and gripped her
brother's hand tightly.
It was strange talk and a strange scene for
these self-contained people who thought so little
of their emotions ; but their very fervor gave a
melodramatic touch to all they did that at
another time must have appeared ridiculous.
SONS AND FATHEES
The scenes that were taking place in Dorbury
were not different from those that were being
enacted over the whole country. While the
North was thunderstruck at the turn matters
had taken, there had yet been gathering there a
political force which only needed this last act of
effrontery to galvanize its intention into action.
Everywhere, men were gathering themselves into
companies, or like Dorbury, already had their
Light Guards. Then like the sound of a deep
bell in the midst of potential silence came the
president's proclamation and the waiting hosts
heard gladly. Lincoln's call for troops could
hardly do more than was already done. Volunteer-
ing was but a word. In effect, thousands of men
were ready, and the call meant only marching
orders. The enthusiasm of the time was infec-
tious. Old men were vying with youths in their
haste and eagerness to offer their services to the
country. As Bradford Waters had said, it was a
time for sharp divisions, and men who had been
SONS AND FATHERS 29
lukewarm in behalf of the Northern cause
before, now threw themselves heart and soul
This state of affairs effected Southern sympa-
thizers in the North in two ways. It reduced the
less robust of spirit to silence and evasion. The
bolder and more decided ones were still also, but
between the silence of one and that of the other
was a vast difference of motive. One was the
conceding silence of fear ; the other was a sullen
repression that brooded and bided its time.
Among those who came out strongly on the
side of the South, was old Colonel Stewart, one
of the oldest citizens of the town. He had served
with distinction throughout the Mexican war, and
was the close friend of Vallandigham. He had
come of good old Yirginia blood, and could not
and would not try to control his utterances. So
when the crisis came, his family, fearing the heat
and violence of the time, urged him to go South,
where his words and feelings would be more in
accordance with the views of his neighbors. But
he angrily refused.
"No," said he, "I will not run from them a
single step. I will stay here, and thrust the
truth of what I believe down their throats."
" But it will do no good," said his old wife
plaintively. " These people are as set in their be-
liefs as you are in yours, and you have no more
30 THE FANATICS
chance of turning them than of stemming the
" I am not here to stem the current. Let them
go on with it and be swept to destruction by
their own madness, but they shall not move me."
"All of your friends are keeping silent,
colonel, although they feel as deeply as you do."
" All the more reason for him who feels and
dares speak to speak."
" Then, too, you owe it to your family to leave
this place. Your views make it hard for us, and
they will make it worse as the trouble grows."
" I hope I have a family heroic enough to bear
with me some of the burdens of the South."
His wife sighed hopelessly. It seemed a throw-
ing of her words into empty air to talk to her
husband. But Emily Stewart took up the cause.
She had the subtlety of the newer generation,
which in argument she substituted for her
mother's simple directness.
" It seems to me, father," she said, u that you
owe the most not to your family, but to your-
" What do you mean ? " he said, turning upon
" That if you are going to bear the burdens of
the South, you should bear them not half-heart-
edly, but in full."
" Well, am I not ? "
SONS AND FATHERS 31
" Let me explain. If trouble should come to
the South, if disaster or defeat, it would be easy
for you, for any man, to raise his voice in her be-
half, while he, himself, rides out and beyond the
stress of the storm. If you are on the side of the
South, she has a right to demand your presence
there ; the strength of your personality thrown
in with her strength."
The old man thought deeply, and then he said,
" I believe you are right. Body as well as soul
should be with the South now. Yes, we will go
South. But I am sorry about "Walter. He has
been so bound up in his work. It will be a great
disappointment for him to go away and leave it
all. But then he may, in fact, I hope he will
find consolation for whatever he loses in defend-
ing the birthplace of his father against the in-
vasion of vandals."
The two women were silent. They were
keener than the man. Women always are ; and
these knew or felt with a vividness that bordered
on knowledge that Walter would not think as
his father thought or go his father's way, and
here the breach would come. But the colonel
never once thought but that his son would enter
heartily into all his plans and he prided himself
upon the step he was about to take. His wife and
daughter went out and left him anxiously await-
ing Walter's coming.
32 THE FANATICS
They were apprehensive when they heard the
young man's step in the hall, and afterwards
heard him enter the library where the colonel
always insisted that any matter of importance
should be discussed.
Heroism, real or fancied, is its own reward, its
own audience and its own applause. With con-
tinued thought upon the matter, Colonel Stew-
art's enthusiasm had reached the fever pitch
from which he could admit but one view of it.
He had bade the servant send his son to him as
soon as he came in, and he was walking back and
forth across the floor when he heard the young
man's step. The old man paused and threw back
his head with the spirited motion that was
reminiscent of the days when he was a famous
The boy, he was the colonel's only son, was
not yet twenty-four — a handsome fellow, tall,
well-made and as straight as an arrow. As they
stood there facing each other, there was some-
thing very much alike in them. Age, experience,
and contact with the world had hardened the
lines about the old man's mouth, which as yet in
the boy's, only indicated firmness.
" Sit down, Walter," said the colonel impress-
ively, " I have something of importance to say
to you ; something that will probably change
your whole life." His son had dropped into a
SONS AND FATHEKS 33
chair opposite to the one which his father had
taken. His face was white with the apprehen-
sion that would tug at his heart, but his eye was
steady and his lips firm.
Alexander Stewart could never quite forget
that for two sessions he had been a speaking
member of the Ohio legislature, and whenever he
had anything of importance to say, he returned
involuntarily to his forensic manner.
" Walter, my son," he began, " we have come
upon startling times. I have known all along
that this crisis would come, but I had not ex-
pected to see it in my day. It was inevitable
that the proud spirit of the South and the blind
arrogance of the North should some day clash.
The clash has now come, and with it, the time
for all strong men to take a decided stand. We
of the South " — the boy winced at the words —
" hold to our allegiance, though we have changed
our homes, and this is the time for us to show
our loyalty. The South has been insulted, her
oldest institutions derided, and her proudest
names dragged in the dust by men who might
have been their owners' overseers. But she does
not bear malice. She is not going to wage a
war of vengeance, but a holy war for truth, jus-
tice and right. I am going back home to help
her." The old man's own eloquence had brought
him to his feet in the middle of the floor, where
34 THE FANATICS
he stood, with eyes blazing. " Back home," he
repeated, " and you, my son — " he held out his
" Father," Walter also arose ; his face was
deadly pale. He did not take the proffered
hand. His father gazed at him, first in amaze-
ment, then as the truth began to reach his mind,
a livid flush overspread his face. His hand
dropped at his side, and his fingers clenched.
" You," he half groaned, half growled between
" Father, listen to me."
" There is but one thing I can listen to from
" You can never hear that. The North is my
home. I was born here. I was brought up to
revere the flag. You taught me that."
" But there is a reverence greater than that
for any flag. There is a time when a flag loses
its right to respect."
" You never talked to me of any such rever-
ence or told me of any such time, and now I
choose to stand by the home I know."
" This is not your home. Your home is the
home of your family, and the blood in your veins
is drawn from the best in the South."
" My blood was made by the streams and in
the meadows ; on the hills and in the valleys of
Ohio, here, where I have played from babyhood,
SONS AND FATHEKS 35
and father, I can't — I can't. May we not think
differently and be friends ? "
" No, if you had the blood of a single Yankee
ancestor in you, I would impute it to that and
forgive the defection; I could understand your
weakening at this time, but "
"It is not weakening," Walter flashed back,
"if anything, it is strengthening when a man
stands up for his flag, for the only flag he has
ever known, when it is attacked by traitors."
" Traitors ! " the old man almost shouted the
word as he made a step towards the boy.
" Traitors, yes, traitors," said the son, unflinch-
" You cur, you mongrel cur, neither Northern
nor Southern ! "
" Silence ! I wish the North joy of your ac-
quisition. The South is well shed of you. You
would have been like to turn tail and skulked in
her direst extremity. It is well to know what
you are from the start."
" Let me say a word, father."
"Don't father me. I'll father no such weak-
kneed renegade as you are. From to-day, you
are no son of mine. I curse you — curse you ! "
The door opened softly and Mrs. Stewart stood
there, transfixed, gazing at the two men. She
was very pale for she had heard the last words.
36 THE FANATICS
"Husband, Walter — " she said tremulously,
"I have intruded, bat I could not help it."
Neither man spoke.
" Alexander," she went on, " take back those
words. I felt all along it would be so, but you
and Walter can disagree with each other and yet
be father and son. Walter, come and shake
hands with your father." The boy took a re-
luctant step forward, without raising his head,
but his father drew himself up and folded his
" Alexander ! "
" I have no son," he said simply.
Walter raised his eyes and answered, " And
I no father," and seizing his mother in his arms,
he covered her face with kisses, and rushed from
the room. Presently they heard the front door
close behind him.
" Call him back, husband, call him back, for
God's sake. He is our son, the only one left —
call him back ! "
The colonel stood like a statue. Not a muscle
of his face quivered, and his folded arms were
like iron in their tenseness. " He has chosen his
faith," he said. He relaxed then to receive his
wife's faintiug form in his arms. He laid her
gently on a couch and calling his daughter and
the servants, went to his own room.
It is an awful thing to have to answer to a
SONS AJSTD FATHERS 37
mother for her boy. To see her eyes searching
your soul with the question in them, " Where is
my child ? " But it is a more terrible thing to a
father's conscience when he himself is questioner,
accuser and culprit in one. Colonel Stewart
walked his room alone and thought with agony
over his position. He knew Walter's disposition.
It was very like his own, and this was not a
matter in which to say, "I have been hasty,"
and then allow it to pass over. How could he
meet his wife's accusing eyes? How could he
do without Walter ? The old man sat down and
buried his face in his hands. The fire and en-
thusiasm of indignation which had held him up
during his interview with his son had left him,
and he was only a sad, broken old man. If he
could but stay in his room forever, away from
As soon as his wife recovered from her swoon
she sent for him. He went tremblingly and re-
luctantly to her, fearful of what he should see in
her eyes. The room, though, was sympathetic-
ally darkened when he went in. He groped his
way to the bed. A hand reached out and took
his and a voice said, " Let us hurry, let us go
away from here, Alexander." There was no
anger, no reproach in the tone, only a deep, lin-
gering sadness that tore at his heartstrings.
" Margaret, Margaret ! " he cried, and flinging
38 THE FANATICS
his arms about her, held her close while sobs
shook his frame.
His wife patted his grey hair. " Don't cry, be-
loved," she said, "this is war. But let us go
away from here. Let us go away."
"Yes, Margaret," he sobbed, "we will go
Preparations for the departure of the Stewarts
began immediately. Mrs. Stewart busied herself
feverishly as one who works to drive out bitter
thoughts. But the colonel kept to his room
away from the scenes of activity. His trouble
weighed heavily upon him. His enthusiasm for
the war seemed suddenly to have turned its heat
malignantly upon him to consume him. Except
when circumstances demanded his presence, he
kept away from the rest of the family, no longer
through the mere dread of meeting them, for it
was the spirit of his conscience to press the iron
into his soul ; but because he felt that this was a
trouble to be borne alone. No one could share
it, no one could understand it.
For several days no one outside of the house
knew of the breach that had occurred in the
Stewart family, nor of their intention to go
South. Then they made the mistake of hiring
the negro, Ed, to help them finish their
The servant is always curious ; the negro
SONS AND FATHEKS 39
servant particularly so, and to the negro the
very atmosphere of this silent house, the con-
strained attitude of the family were pregnant
with mystery. Then he did not see the son
about. It took but a little time for his curiosity
to lead to the discovery that the son was boarding
in the town. This, with scraps of information
got from the other servants, he put together, and
his imagination did the rest. Ed had a pictur-
esque knack for lying, and the tale that resulted
from his speculations was a fabric worthy of its
According to the negro's version, the colonel,
though long past the age for service, was going
down South to be a general, and wanted to take
his son, Walter, along with him to be a captain.
Walter had refused, and he and his father had
come to fisticuffs in which the young man was
worsted, for Ed added admiringly by way of
embellishment, " Do ol' cunnel is a mighty good
man yit." After this the youug man had left
his father's house because he thought he was too
old to be whipped.
This was the tale with which Ed regaled the
people for whom he worked about Dorbury ;
but be it said in vindication of their common
sense that few, if any, believed it. That there
was some color of fact in the matter they could
not doubt when it was plainly shown that
40 THE FANATICS
Walter Stewart was not living at his father's
house. There must have been a breach of some
kind, they admitted, but Ed's picture must be re-
duced about one-half.
The story, however, threw young Stewart into
an unenviable prominence. As modest as it is
natural for a young man of twenty-three to be,
it gave him no pleasure to have people turn
around to look after him with an audible,
" There he goes ! "
At first, his feeling towards his father had been
one, not so much of anger as of grief. But he
had no confidant, and the grief that could not
find an outlet hardened into a grief that sticks in
the throat, that cannot be floated off by tears or
blown away by curses that will not melt, that
will not move, that becomes rebellion. It was
all unjust. He thought of the ideas of independ-
ence that his father had inculcated in him ;
how he had held up to him the very strength of
manhood which he now repudiated. How he
had set before him the very example upon which
he now modeled his conduct, and then abased
it. He had built and broken his own idol,
and the ruins lay not only about his feet, but
about his son's. It was a hard thought in
the boy's mind, and for a time he felt as if he
wanted to hold his way in the world, asking of
nothing, is it right or wrong ? leaning to no be-
SONS AND FATHERS 41
liefs, following no principles. This was the first
mad rebellion of his flowering youth against the
fading ideals, against the revelation of things as
they are. But with the rebound, which marks
the dividing line between youth and manhood,
he came back to a saner view of the affair.
It came to him for the first time that now was
a period of general madness in which no rule of
sane action held good. And yet, he could not
wholly forgive his father his unnecessary harsh-
ness. The understanding of his unmerited
cruelty came to him, but his condemnation of it
did not leave. Only once did he ask himself
whether the cause for which he stood was
worthy of all that he had sacrificed for it ; home,
mother, comfort and a father's love. Then there
came back to him the words his father had ut-
tered on a memorable occasion, "Walter, prin-
ciple is too dear to be sacrificed at any price,"
and his lips closed in a line of determination.
Resolutely he turned his face away from that
path of soft delight. He was no longer his
father's son ; but he was enough of a Stewart to
He felt sorely hurt, though, when he found
that Ed's story, while failing to find a resting-
place in the ears of the sensible, had percolated
the minds of the lower classes of the town. He
heard ominous threats hurled at the old copper-
42 THE FANATICS
head, which he knew to be directed at his father.
All that lay in his power to do, he did to stem
the tide of popular anger, but he felt it rising
steadily, and knew that at any moment it might
take the form of open violence or insult to his
family. This must be avoided, he determined,
and night after night, after he had left home, he
patrolled the sidewalk in front of his father's
house, and the grief-stricken mother, reaching
out her arms and moaning for her son in her
sleep, did not know that he was there, watching
the low flicker of the night lamp in her room.
It was nearly a week after the memorable
evening interview between Walter and his father
that the young man received by the hands of the
gossiping Ed a note from his mother. It ran,
" We expect to go to-morrow evening at seven.
Will you not come and tell me good-bye?"
Walter was brave, and he gulped hard. This
was from his mother, and neither principle nor
anything else separated him from her. He would
go. He wrote, " I will come in by the side gate,
and wait for you in the arbor."
The evening found him there a half hour be-
fore the time set, but a mother's fond eagerness
had outrun the hours and Mrs. Stewart was al-
ready there awaiting him. She embraced her
son with tears in her eyes, and they talked long
together. From the window of his room, Colonel
SONS AND FATHEKS 43
Stewart watched them. His eyes lingered over
every outline of his son's figure. Once, he
placed his hand on the sash as if to raise it.
Then he checked himself and took a turn round
the dismantled room. When he came back to
the window, Walter was taking his leave. The
old man saw his wife clinging about the boy's
neck. He saw the young fellow brush his hand
hastily across his eyes. Again, his hand went
out involuntarily to the window, but he drew it
back and ground it in the other while a groan
struggled up from under the weight of his pride
and tore itself from his pale lips. Gone, gone,
Walter was gone, and with him, his chance of
reconciliation. He saw his wife return, but he
locked his door and sat down to battle with his
pride and grief until it was time to go.
It was a worn-looking old man that came down
to step into the carriage an hour later. But
Colonel Stewart never looked more the soldier.
Walter was at a safe point of vantage, watching
to get a last glimpse of his family. He was
heavy of heart in spite of his bravery. But sud-
denly, his sadness flamed into anger. A crowd
had been gathering about his father's house, but
he thought it only the usual throng attracted by
curiosity. As his father stepped into the car-
riage, he heard a sudden huzza. The people had
surrounded the vehicle. A band appeared, and
44 THE FANATICS
there floated to his ears the strains of the
Rogues' march. A red mist came before his
eyes, but through it he could not help seeing
that they were taking the horses from the shafts.
He waited to see no more, but dashed down the
street. He forgot his sorrow, he forgot the
breach, he forgot everything but his fury. It
was his father ; his father.
They were drawing the carriage toward him
now, and the band was crashing out the hateful
music. He reached the crowd and dashed into
it like a young bull, knocking the surprised
rioters and musicians right and left. He was
cursing; he was pale, and his lip was bleeding
where he had bitten it. The music stopped.
Those who held the shafts dropped them. They
were too astonished by the sudden onslaught to
move. Then a growl rose like the noise of wild
beasts and the crowd began to surge upon the
young man. Forward and back they swept
him, struggling and fighting. Then the carriage
door opened and Colonel Stewart stepped out.
His face was the face of an angel in anger, or
perhaps of a very noble devil.
" Stop," he thundered, and at his voice, the
uproar ceased. " Take up the shafts, my fellow-
citizens," he said sneeringly, " this act is what I
might have expected of you, but go on. It is
meet that I should be drawn by such cattle."
SONS AND FATHEKS 45
Then turning to his son, he said, " Sir, I need no
defence from you." There was a joyous cry at
this, though it was the young man's salvation.
Some one hurled a stone, which grazed the old
man's head. Walter was at the coward's side in
an instant, and had felled him to the ground.
For an instant, something that was not contempt
gleamed in the old man's eye, but Walter turned,
and lifting his hat to his father, backed from the
crowd. They took up the shafts again. The
musicians gathered their courage, and with a
shout they bore the colonel away to the station.
Walter stood looking after the carriage. He
had caught a glimpse of his mother's face from
the window for a moment, and to the day of his
death he never forgot the look she gave him. It
was to be a help to him in the time of his trou-
ble, and strength when the fight was hottest.
His anger at his father had melted away in the
flash of action. But he could not help wonder
if the colonel's insult to him had been sincere,
or only for the purpose of accomplishing what
it did, the diversion of the crowd. He knew
that he had been saved rough handling, and that
his father had saved him, and he went home
with a calmer spirit than he had known for
Despite the intolerance which kept Stephen
46 THE FANATICS
Yan Doren always at loggerheads with Bradford
Waters, he was in reality a fairly reasonable
man. He was as deep and ardent a partisan of
the South as Colonel Stewart, and if he was not
less anxious that his son should espouse her
cause, at least he had more patience, and more
faith to wait for his boy to turn to the right
From the time that Robert Yan Doren was
driven from his sweetheart's gate, there had been
a silence between father and son as to the latter's
intentions. But as the feverish preparations
went on, Stephen Yan Doren grew more and
more uneasy and excited. It was hard not to
speak to his son and find out from him where he
stood in regard to the questions which were agi-
tating his fellows. But a stalwart pride held the
old man back. There were times when he told
himself that the boy only waited for a word from
him. But that word he determined never to say.
The South did not need the arm of any one who
had to be urged to fight for her.
The struggle and anxiety which possessed his
father's mind was not lost on the young man,
and he sympathized with the trouble, while he
respected the fine courtly breeding which com-
pelled silence under it. As for himself, he must
have more time to think. This was no light
question which he was now called upon to decide.
SONS AND FATHERS 47
The times were asking of every American in his
position, " Are you an American or a Southerner
first ? " The answer did not hang ready upon
his lips. Where foes from without assailed, it
was the country, the whole country. Could
there arise any internal conditions that would
make it different ?
Finally, he could not stand the pained question
in his father's eyes any longer. A word would
let him know that, at least, his son was thinking
of the matter which agitated him.
" Father," he said, " you are worrying about
The old man looked up proudly, "You are
mistaken," was the reply, "I have no need to
worry about my son. He is a man."
Robert gave his father a grateful glance,
and went on, " You are right, you need not
worry. I am looking for the right. When I
find it, you may depend upon me to go that
" I am sure of it, Bob ! " exclaimed the old
man, grasping his son's hand, " I am sure you
will. You are a man and must judge for your-
self. I have confidence in you, Bob."
" Thank you, father."
They pressed each other's hands warmly, the
cloud cleared from Yan Doren's brow and the
subject was dropped between the two.
48 THE FANATICS
Between Tom Waters and his father from the
very first, there had been only harmony. There
was a brief period of silence between them when
Bradford Waters first fully realized that his age
put him hopelessly beyond the chance of being
beside his son in the ranks. At the first intima-
tion that he was too old, he had scouted the
idea, and said that it often took a grey head
to manage a strong arm rightly. But when he
saw the full quota of militia made up and his
application denied, it filled him with poignant
" I had so hoped to be by your side, Tom, in
this fight," he said.
" It's best, father, as it is, though, for there's
Mary to be taken care of."
" Yes, the fever in our blood makes us forget
the nearest and dearest nowadays, but I'm glad
that you will be there to represent me any-
From that time all the enthusiasm which
Waters had felt in the Northern cause was cen-
tred upon his son. He watched him on the pa-
rade ground with undisguised pride, and when
Tom came home in the glory of his new uniform,
with the straps upon his square shoulders, Brad-
ford Waters' voice was husky, and there was a
moisture in his eyes as he said, " I'm glad now
that it's you who are going, Tom, for I under-
SONS AND FATHEES 49
stand what a poor figure I must have made among
you young fellows."
The son was too joyous to be much affected by
the sadness in his father's tone, and he only
laughed as he replied, " I tell you, father, those
steel muscles of yours would have put many a
young fellow to the blush when it came to
" Well, it isn't my chance. You're the soldier."
The young fellow would have felt a pardonable
pride could he have known that his father was
saying over and over again, " Lieutenant Thomas
Waters, Lieutenant Thomas Waters, why not
captain or colonel ? " And his pride would have
been tempered could he have known also that
back of this exclamation was the question, " Will
he come back to me ? "
For so long a time had Bradford Waters been
both father and mother to his son that he had
come to have some of the qualities of both
parents. And if it were true, as Mary said, that
in this war the women's hearts would suffer
most, then must he suffer doubly. With the
woman's heart of the mother and the man's heart
of the father, the ache had already begun for the
struggle was on between the tenderness of the
one and the pride of the other ; between the
mother's love and the father's ambition. At the
barracks, or on the parade ground, in the blare
50 THE FANATICS
of the trumpets where Lieutenant Waters strode
back and forth, ambition conquered. But in the
long still nights when his boy Tom was in his
thoughts and dreams, only love and tenderness
"the pomp and cikcumstance"
The shifting scenes in the panorama of the
opening war brought about the day of departure.
The company to which Tom Waters belonged
was to leave on an afternoon train for Columbus,
and Dorbury was alert to see them off ; friend
and foe swayed by the same excitement. The
town took on the appearance and spirit of a gala
day. The streets were full of sight-seers, pedes-
trians, riders and drivers, for the event had
brought in the farmers from surrounding town-
ships. Here and there, the blue of a uniform
showed among the crowd and some soldier made
his way proudly, the centre of an admiring
crowd. A troop of little boys fired by the en-
thusiasm of their elders marched to and fro to
the doubtful tune of a shrill fife and an asthmatic
drum. People who lived a long distance away,
and who consequently had been compelled to
start long before sunrise, now lolled lazily
around, munching ginger-bread, or sat more de-
52 THE FANATICS
corously in the public square, eating their de-
About the barracks, which were the quarters
of the militia, was gathered a heterogeneous
crowd. Within, there was the sound of steady
tramping, as the sentinels moved back and forth
over their beats. Their brothers without, were
doing a more practical duty, for it took all the
bravery of their bristling bayonets to keep back
the curious. There was a stir among them like
the rippling of the sea by the wind when a young
man in the uniform of a private of the Light
Guards hastened up and elbowed his way towards
the door. There was a buzz, a single shout, and
then a burst of cheers, as the young man, flushed
and hot, leaped up the steps and entered the
door. Some who had been his enemies were in
the crowd ; some who had laid violent hands on
him only a few days before, but they were all
his friends now. It was Walter Stewart. He
had followed the leadings of his own mind and
stayed with his company; but somehow the ap-
plause of these people who were all his father's
enemies, was very bitter to him.
After Stewart, came a figure that elicited a
shout from the throng, and a burst of laughter.
It was the town crier, Negro Ed, who was to go
as servant to the militia captain, Horace Miller.
"Hi, Ed," called one, "ain't you afraid they'll
"POMP AND CIECUMSTAlSrCE " 53
get you and make you a slave?" and "Don't
forget to stop at Dorbury when you get to run-
ning ! "
Ed was usually good-natured, and met such
sallies with a grin, but a new cap and a soldier's
belt had had their effect on him, and he marched
among his deriders, very stern, dignified and
erect, as if the arduous duties of the camp were
already telling upon him. The only reply he
vouchsafed was "JSTemmine, you people, nem-
mine. You got to git somebody else to ring yo'
ol' bell now." The crowd laughed. There came
a time when they wept at thought of that black
buffoon ; the town nigger, the town drunkard,
when in the hospital and by deathbeds his touch
was as the touch of a mother; when over a
blood-swept field, he bore a woman's dearest and
nursed him back to a broken life. But no more
of that. The telling of it must be left to a time
when he who says aught of a negro's virtues will
not be cried down as an advocate drunk with
To the listeners outside the barracks came the
noise of grounding arms, and the talk of men re-
lieved from duty. They were to go to their
homes until time to form in the afternoon. The
authorities were considerate. If men must go
to war, good-byes must be said, women must
weep and children cling to their fathers. The
54 THE FANATICS
last sad meal must be taken. The net of specu-
lation must be thrown out to catch whatever
motes of doubt the wind of war may blow, and
the questions must fly, "Will he come back?
Shall I see him again ? "
Yes, women must weep. In spite of all the
glory of war they will cling to the neck of the
departing husband, brother or son. Poor foolish
creatures ; they have no eye then for the brave
array, the prancing charger and the gleaming
arms. They have no ear for the inspiring fife
The men were soberer than they had yet been
when they filed out of the barracks. At last,
the reality of things was coming home to them.
It was all very well, this drilling on the common
in the eyes of the town, but now for the result
of their drills.
Midway among them came Tom and Walter
side by side, lieutenant and private ; they had not
yet come to feel the difference in their positions.
" Well, we'll be on the way in a few hours,"
said Walter as they passed out beyond the bor-
ders of the crowd, " and I'm glad of it."
" I'm glad, too, now that we're in it, Walt, and
I'm glad to be in it myself. But it means a
whole lot, doesn't it ? "
" Of course, you're leaving your family," re-
plied Walter tentatively.
"POMP AND CIKCUMSTANCE " 55
" More than that."
Both young men smiled, Walter a little bit
sheepishly. He had been Tom's rival for Nannie
Wood's affections, and had taken defeat at his
" Oh," pursued Tom, " if the fight is going to
be as short as many people think, a mere brush,
in fact, we shan't be gone long — but "
" The people who think this is going to be a
mere brush don't know the temper of the South."
" I believe you. There'll be a good many of
us who won't come back."
" Oh, well, it's one time or another," and Wal-
ter smiled again as they came to the corner, and
Tom turned up the street towards Nannie's house.
" So long."
" So long, until this afternoon," and then the
young lieutenant found himself staring straight
into the eyes of Eobert Van Doren. For a mo-
ment the feeling of antagonism which had
shown in his conversation with Mary, surged over
him, but in the next, he remembered his promise.
He held out his hand.
" Hello, Bob," he said, " I guess it's hello and
Bob grasped his hand warmly. "Well, I
reckon nobody'll be gladder to say how-dye-do to
you again than I, Tom. Good luck."
56 THE FANATICS
" Give my regards to Mary."
"I will." Tom started on. Suddenly he
turned and found Van Doren watching him with
a strange expression on his face. He went back
and impulsively seized the other's hand. " Say*
Bob, what's what ? "
The blood went out of Yan Doren's face.
" God knows," he said in a pained voice, " that's
just what I've been asking myself, and I don't
know yet, Tom."
The young man paused ashamed of this show
of feeling, then he said, "Well, anyway, Bob,
good luck," and they went their ways.
In his heart, Tom believed that Robert Yan
Doren would eventually go to the Confederacy,
and he resented what to him seemed flagrant dis-
loyalty. Ohio was Yan Doren's adopted home,
and a tender mother she had been to him. Out
of her bounty she had given him well. Now to
go over to her enemies ! The fight in Tom's mind
as to his manner of meeting Yan Doren had been
brief but sharp. The result was less the outcome
of generosity than the result of a subtle selfish-
ness. It was, as all putting one's self in another's
place is, the sacrifice which we make to the gods
of our own desires, the concession we make to
our weakness. He forgave Robert, not because
Mary loved and was about to lose him, but be-
cause he, himself, loved Nannie, and for a time,
" POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE " 57
at least, was about to lose her. The grasp which
he gave Bob's hand meant pity for himself as
well as for his sister.
There was a flash of pride on Nannie's face,
though tears stood in her eyes as she saw her
lover approaching. She had been expecting him
and was at the gate. The soft April sunshine
was playing on her gold-brown hair, and in her
simple pink dimity gown she looked akin to the
morning glories that blossomed about her. She
opened the gate and took the young man's hand,
and together t,hey passed around the side of the
house, to a rustic bench among the verbenas and
There was a simplicity and frankness about
Nannie's love that was almost primitive. It was
so natural, so spontaneous, so unashamed. It
looked you as squarely in the face as did her co-
quetry. But there was no sign of coquetry now.
Gone were all her whims and quips, her airs and
graces. There had come into her life the trans-
muting element that suddenly makes a maid
For a time the two sat in silence on her flower-
surrounded bench. Tom, afraid to trust his voice,
and Nannie finding a certain satisfaction in
merely pressing the hand she held.
Finally, he broke silence. " Well, the time is
about here, Nannie."
58 THE FANATICS
"Yes," she replied, drawing his hand closer
and caressing it, " you — you're glad, of course ? "
" Glad ? Well, that's a hard question. I'm
glad, of course, but — but " — he struggled to grasp
the elusive idea that was floating in his brain —
" but there is more than one kind of being glad.
I am glad, to be sure, as a citizen, and I'm sorry
as a man "
" You're sorry because ~"
" You know why, little girl, I'm sorry to leave
you. I'm sorry to take any chance of never being
able to call you wife. It may be cowardly, but
at such a time, the thought is forced irresistibly
upon a man."
" It isn't cowardly, Tom, it isn't. It's manly,
I know it is, because you're thinking about me.
Oh, but I shall miss you when you are gone.
But I'll pray for you, and I'll try to be as
brave up here as you are down there. You
are wrong, Tom, you are very brave, braver
than the men who do not think to sorrow for
the women, but go rushing into this war with
a blind enthusiasm that will not let them feel.
You're brave, you're brave, and I'm going to
be, but I can't help it ! " He caught her in his
arms, and strained the weeping face to his
" Darling, darling, my brave little girl, don't
cry." A man is so helpless, so wordless in these
"POMP AND CIKCUMST ANCE " 59
times. He can do nothing but stammer and ex-
claim and lavish caresses.
After the first gust of weeping was over, she
raised her tear-stained face, and said with a rainy
smile, " I want you to understand, Tom, I'm not
crying all for grief. It's just as much pride as it
is sorrow. Oh, I've been spoiling your uniform."
There was somewhat of a return of her old co-
quetry of manner, and her lover was unspeakably
cheered. He had felt in that brief moment of
passion as he had never felt before ; how near
the ocean of tears lay to the outer air and how
strong was their surge against the barriers of
manhood. But her change of manner gave him
the courage to say the tender good-bye — the fare-
well too sacred to be spied upon. Ah, how his
heart ached within him. How his throat swelled,
and she smiled and smiled, though her eyes grew
moist again. And he went on inspired by the
heroism of a woman's smile, the smile she gives
even when she sends her dear ones forth to face
He bade good-bye to Nannie's family, and went
home to a sad meal and a repetition of his leave-
The sister hardly succeeded as well as the
sweetheart in hiding her emotions. Her heart
was already heavy, and she wept, not only at the
fear of death, but with the pain of love. At the
60 THE FANATICS
very last, when he was going to take his place
in the ranks, she broke down, and clung sobbing
to her brother. Tom gulped, and the father,
wringing his son's hands, took away her arms
and comforted her as best he could. His eyes
were bright and hard with the stress of the fight
he was having with his feelings, but his voice
was firm. Bradford Waters showed the mettle
of his pasture. A New Englander, born and
reared in that section of the country which has
produced the most and the least emotional peo-
ple, men the most conservative and the most
radical ; the wisest philosophers and the wildest
fanatics, he did not disgrace his breeding.
It was easier for Tom, when he was once
more in the ranks. Then he felt again the in-
fectious spirit of enthusiasm which swayed his
comrades. His heart beat with the drums. He
heard the people cheering as they went down the
street. Handkerchiefs were waving from win-
dows and balconies, and there was a following
that half walked, half trotted to keep up with
the swinging stride of the soldiers. The train
that was to bear them away stood puffing in the
station. They crowded on. Here and there, a
man dropped into his seat and buried his head in
his hands, but most of the heads were out of the
windows nodding good-byes. There was an air
of forced gayety over it all. Young fellows with
"POMP AND CIKCUMSTANCE " 61
flushed cheeks laughed hard laughs, and bit their
lips the moment after. It was as if no one
wanted to think and yet thought would come.
Children were held up to be kissed, their mothers
weeping openly as is a mother's right. Fathers
would start a reassuring sentence, and suddenly
break off to laugh brokenly, short skeleton laughs
that were sadder than tears. Then the bell gave
warning and with a last rousing shout, they were
off for the state capital and the chances of war.
Tom caught the last glimpse of the family and
Nannie as they stood together on the platform.
They were waving to him and he waved back.
Nannie and Mary stood with clasped hands
watching the long line of cars. On the former's
face there was sorrow and pride ; sorrow for her
lover, pride for her soldier ; but with the latter
was only grief, for she could not be thoroughly
loyal to her brother without feeling disloyalty to
her lover. Bradford Waters walked with the
crowd, but the two girls stood still, until they
heard the train whistle and slacken speed as it
crossed the railroad bridge, then they turned and
walked back to the town. A few moments be-
fore the place had been all movement and life ;
now it was left to silence and tears.
A LONE FIGHT
There was one man whom the moving glory
of the departing troops filled with no elation.
From a distant point, Bob Yan Doren saw the
blue lines swinging down the streets of Dor bury,
and heard the shriek of the fifes. But there was
in him no inclination to join in the shouting or to
follow the admiring crowd. He was possessed
neither by the joyous nor the sorrowing interest
of the citizen, nor yet by the cowardly shame of
the stay-at-home. While he could not go as far
as his father and stay within the closed and
shuttered house, yet he felt that he was not a
part of the flag-flying, drum-beating throng.
Many of the young fellows there were his friends
who had eaten and drunk with him. They
had laughed and sported together both as men
and boys. But now, suddenly, it seemed that
something had arisen to make them entirely dif-
ferent, and to put him as far apart from them
and their sympathies as if they had been born at
A LONE FIGHT 63
opposite poles. What was this impalpable some-
thing ? he asked himself. Was it in him, in them
or outside and beyond them both ? Or to get at
the bottom of things, did it really exist ? Their
training and his had been very much the same.
They had gone to the same schools, read the
same books and adored the same heroes. What,
then, was the subtle element that had entered
into life to divide them?
These were the questions he was asking him-
self as he heard the farewell shouts of the depart-
ing troops and the clanging of the train bell.
Then he turned and with his mind full of harass-
ing inquiries took his way home.
" Well, they're off to help rob the South of its
niggers, are they ? " said his father.
" They are gone," replied Kobert laconically.
He was not in the mood to talk.
" Humph, Southern buzzards will be the fatter
"Don't, father, that's horrible. There are a
good many of the fellows we both knew and
liked among them."
Stephen Yan Doren flashed a quick suspicious
glance at his son as he remarked, " So much the
worse for them."
" I wish it might have been settled some other
way," pursued Eobert drearily, " I'd rather have
let the South secede than institute this orgie of
64 THE FANATICS
unnatural bloodshed, brother against brother,
friend against friend."
Again his father flashed that white question-
ing look at him. Then he rose abruptly and left
the room. Robert hardly noticed the movement,
so absorbed was he in his own thoughts, but sat
staring blankly before him. He was momen-
tarily aroused from his reverie by the reentrance
of his father, who laid an old miniature upon the
table before him, and went out again without a
word. Robert picked up the picture. It was
the portrait of a beautiful young woman painted
in the style of forty years before — his mother —
and her name was written on a piece of yellow
paper stuck in the frame, " Virginia Nelson, Fair-
fax Courthouse, Virginia. " He gazed at the
picture and read and re-read the inscription,
" Fairfax Courthouse." What a quaint old-
fashioned, southern sound it had. It seemed red-
olent of magnolias and jessamine and soft as
the speech of its own citizens. But was that
home, or this, the place where his youth and
early manhood had been passed? Which was
home, the place of memories or the place of
action ? What makes home ; dreams or labor ;
the hopes of boyhood or the hard reality of later
To young Van Doren, the memory of his
mother, who had lived only two years after com-
A LONE FIGHT 65
ing North, had been as a guiding star and he
knew that it was to recall this that his father had
brought him the picture. It was apparent that
he must have been strongly moved, for that little
worn and faded miniature seldom left the old
man's desk. His father felt deeply ; so did he.
His mother's eyes were pleading with him.
Sentiment, said his mind ; truth, said his heart.
Finally, he laid the picture face downward on
the table. He told himself it must not enter
into his thoughts at all. But his mind would not
let it go. Eel-like, his consciousness wrapped
itself about it and would not let it go. He felt
guilty when the thought assailed him that per-
haps the face of another woman which was
graven on his heart, argued more strongly than
the pictured one. " Mary, Mary," his heart said,
" is my love for you blinding me to right and
justice ? While other men decide and do, I
stand still here waiting and asking what to do."
He thought of Walter Stewart and the apparent
ease with which he had made a hard decision,
and his anger flashed up against his own impo-
tence ; but still his inclination wavered weakly
back and forth. The Union, the Confederacy;
the place of his boyhood and the home of his
At last, he asked himself the question which
he had so long shunned, What he believed ? and
66 THE FANATICS
he was compelled to answer that his convictions
leaned to the side of those who were in arms
against the general government. Then there
was but one thing to do. He stood up, very pale
and sad of countenance, trembling on the verge
of a decision. But suddenly as out of nowhere,
a voice seemed to sound into his very being,
" Has love no right ? " " Good God," he cried
aloud, " shall I go on this way, forever waver-
ing ? Shall I go on being a coward, I who hate
cowardice ? " His heart was burning with pain,
misery and anger and shame at himself, and yet
he could not, he dared not say where he stood.
The fact that he tried to fight out of recognition,
and herein lay his greatest cowardice, was that
he did not feel the Southern cause deeply enough
to risk losing the woman he loved by its espousal ;
nor could he leap open-eyed into the Northern
movement, for which he had no sympathy. Had
he felt either as deeply as did Bradford Waters
or his own father, he would not have hesitated
where to take his place.
The struggle in his mind had not just begun.
From the very moment that the atmosphere had
become electric with the currents of opposing
beliefs, he had felt himself drawn into the cir-
cuit. But, by nature, always inexpressive, he
had said nothing, and left those who thought of
him to the conviction that he was unmoved by
A LONE FIGHT 67
passing events. But the lone nights and the grey
dawns knew better. Many a time had he gone
to bed after a period of earnest, self-searching,
satisfied at last, and saying, " It is true, I shall
take my stand," only to wake and find that
everything was changed in the light of day.
Many a time had morning found him in his chair
where he had sat all night, trying to wrench
order out of the chaos of his mind. And now,
now, it was no better.
There was a step in the hall, and his father
looked in on him for a moment and passed on.
Robert knew that he was going through an
ordeal no less terrible than his own, and he
wished that it might be ended, even if it brought
strife and separation between them as it had
done between Walter Stewart and his father.
The thought had hardly left his brain when it
was occupied by another. Was he to be watched
like a child who was likely to get into mischief ?
This was too much, too much. He had borne
with his father as long as he could. Eow he
would show him that he was his own master, to
go his own way. Anyway, it was his concern
alone. With whichever side he went, he must be
shot for himself. If he stayed at home, it was
he who must bear the sneers and jokes, who must
live down the contumely. Whose right was it,
then, to institute an annoying surveillance over
68 THE FANATICS
him ? Not even his father's. It had come to a
pretty pass when a man might not think without
interruption. Bah, he could not call his soul his
own. It was only the sign of his nervous condi-
tion that he should fall into this state of petu-
Then unaccountably, his whole mental atti-
tude changed, and the appearance of his father's
questioning face in the door, struck him only
with a ludicrous aspect. He thought of himself
as some coquettish but wavering maiden who
bade her lover wait outside until she could an-
swer the momentous question, yes or no, and he
burst out laughing.
But his mirth was short and unnatural.
" I am either a fool or a brute," he said, " I
know that father and Mary are both watching
me, but they have a right to watch and they
have the right to demand from me the answer in
He paused as if a new thought had struck him.
Then he rose and took his hat. " I'll do it," he
exclaimed passionately, " I'll go to her and let
her help me. Why haven't I thought of it be-
fore ? " He passed out and called to his father
as he went, " I'm going out for a while, father."
" All right," was the answer, but the words
that followed solemnly were, " The boy is driven
out into the street, even as the men possessed of
A LONE FIGHT 69
devils spirit were driven to the rocks and the
tombs. It is the evil spirit of Northern narrow-
ness working in him."
It was with a heart somewhat lightened by the
hope of relief that Kobert Yan Doren hastened
along the street towards the Waters' home. So
much had passed in the days since he had last
stood at the gate that the little difference be-
tween him and the father of the woman he loved
appeared as a very small thing. "When two great
sections of a nation are arrayed against each
other, there is no time for the harboring of petty
angers. Two thoughts held him. He would see
Mary again. She would help him, and his honor
should come to its own. These thoughts left no
room in his mind for malice.
No misgiving touched him even when he stood
at the door and his knock brought Mary to the
door. She looked at him with a frightened face,
and turned involuntarily to glance at her father
who sat within.
" Is anything the matter ? " she said in a low,
" Nothing, only I want your advice and help,"
said Yan Doren, stepping across the threshold.
At the voice and step, Bradford Waters rose
and faced the visitor, and his face began working
with growing anger. "What do you mean by
invading my house, again, Robert Yan Doren ? "
10 THE FANATICS
" I came to see Mary."
Waters took his daughter by the hand as if he
would put himself between the girl and her lover.
" Mary can have no dealings with you or your
kind. We do not want you here. I have told
you that before. Your way and ours lie apart."
" They have not always lain apart and need
not now." Yan Doren's surprise was stronger
than his resentment as he looked into the old
man's passionate face. Could a few days work
such a change in a man ?
" They must and shall lie apart," Waters took
him up hotly. " What you have been to this fam-
ily, you cannot be again."
" What have I done to forfeit your respect ? "
" It isn't what you've done, but what you
" How do you know what I am ? "
"That's it. At least, your father has the
courage to come out and say what he is. You
haven't. At least, he is a man "
" Father, father," cried Mary, " don't say any
more ! "
" I'm sorry to see a daughter of mine," said
Waters, turning upon her, " pleading for one of
those whom her brother has gone South to kill."
The girl put her hands up quickly as if she would
check the words upon her father's lips. Yan
Doren had turned very white. He stood as one
A LONE FIGHT 71
stunned. All his hopes of help had been sud-
denly checked, and instead of sympathy, he
had received hard words. But a smile curved
" Have I not said enough, Eobert Yan
Doren ? "
" Yes," was the reply, still with a quiet smile,
" you have said enough," and he turned towards
Mary sprang away from her father. " Eobert,
Eobert, don't go," she cried, "he doesn't mean it.
This great trouble has made him mad." Brad-
ford Waters started to speak but stopped as the
young man put off the girl's detaining hand.
" I must go, Mary," he said, " your father is
right. We have come to the parting of the ways.
I have not had the courage to say where I stood,
but I have it now. I came for help to decide a
momentous question. I have got it. Good-bye,
Mary, good-bye — Mr. Waters, the Confederacy
may thank you for another recruit."
He opened the door and passed out, the old
man's voice ringing after him, " Better an open
rebel than a copperhead." A hard look came
into the girl's eyes.
" You needn't worry," said her father, " it's
good riddance." She made no reply.
In spite of all that passed, Eobert Yan Doren
went home in a lighter frame of mind.
72 THE FANATICS
" I'm going to leave to-morrow," he said to his
" You have made your choice ? "
" The South needs me," returned the young
man evasively. His father came to him and
kissed him on both cheeks. Then he took the
miniature from the table and placed it on his
"I knew that your mother would not plead
with you in vain," he said, and Kobert smiled
Theee is a tragic quietness about a town
whose best and bravest have gone to a doubtful
battlefield. The whole place seems hushed and
on tiptoe as if listening for some sound from the
field. The cry of a cricket shivers the silenee
into splinters of sound, and each one pierces the
ear with a sharpness which is almost pain. It
was under such a pall of stillness that Dorbury
lay immediately after the departure of the troops.
It was not altogether the torpor that succeeds an
upheaval. Part of it was the breathless silence
of expectancy, as when from a height some one
hurls a boulder into space and waits to hear it
fall. Of course, it would be some time before
they could expect to hear from the new soldiers,
and yet, Dorbury listened, expectant hand to ear.
The spring sunshine, not yet strong nor violent
enough to destroy its own sweetness, fell with a
golden caress on the quiet streets. To some,
who went to and fro, bowed with anxiety, it
seemed strange that in such a time, nature should
74 THE FANATICS
go on performing her processes as she had always
done. Their hearts seemed to stand still, but
time went on, the flowers bloomed, the grasses
sprung and the restless river sang to the silent
The tension of suspense had told greatly upon
Bradford Waters' character. From being a gen-
tle father, he had grown to be short, almost harsh
to Mary. His love and fear for his soldier son
had made him blind to the pain his daughter
He was so far gone in the earnestness of his
views that he could see nothing but a perverse
disloyalty in his daughter's feeling towards
Eobert Van Doren. His friendship for the
young fellow had changed with the changing
of the times, and he could not understand that a
woman's love may be stronger than her politics ;
her heart truer to its affections than her head to
It can hardly be said of Mary that she felt
more than she thought, but her emotions were
stronger than her convictions. It was the worse
for her state of mind that for two widely differ,
ent reasons, the taking of her brother and the
estrangement from her lover, she was placed in
a resentful position against the cause that she
naturally would have espoused.
Still, at first, she kept a certain appearance of
DIVIDED HOUSES 75
loyalty, and when some of the girls with impet-
uous enthusiasm, started a sewing circle for the
soldiers, she joined with them, and began to ply
her needle in the interest of the Union troops.
But among these friends of undivided interests,
it was not always pleasant for Mary. All about
her, she heard sentiments that did not comport
with the feelings of one who had loved ones on
both sides of the great question. Over the lint
and flannels that passed through the sewers'
hands, were made several hot and thoughtless
speeches that seared the very soul of one poor
girl. They were not intentional. Most of them,
had they known that one among them suffered
from their unthinking remarks, would have held
their tongues. Others, not more than one or
two, be it said, knew that every sneer they cast
at the army of the South, every hard wish they
expressed, tore like an arrow through the tender
heart of the pale sad girl in the corner who bent
so silently over her work.
" I do wish," said little Martha Blake one day,
" that the whole Southern army was drowned in
the depths of the sea. They are so troublesome."
" What would their sisters do ? " asked Mary
" Oh, really, they seem such monsters to me
that I never thought of their having sisters."
Mary smiled. " And yet they have," she said,
76 THE FANATICS
" some of them, perhaps, making just as foolish a
wish about our brothers as you have made about
" I know it's foolish," Martha pursued, " but it
has never seemed to me that those people down
there who have done so much to tempt the
Northern government are quite the same as we
Unconsciously, Mary took the defensive and
stepped over into the point of view of the man
whom in her heart she was defending.
"But why," she exclaimed, "do you say the
Northern government ? The very mention of
the word denies the principle for which we claim
we are fighting — that there is no North, no
South, but one country inseparable into sec-
" I had never thought of that," said Martha.
" I don't think any of us have thought of it,"
put in Anice Crowder, " except those who have
very dear friends among the traitors."
Mary turned deadly pale for she knew that
Bob Van Doren's decision had just become gen-
erally known. She turned a pair of flashing eyes
on Anice as she replied,
" No man is a traitor who fights for what he
believes to be right."
" Any man is a traitor who lives under one
flag and leaves it to fight under another."
DIVIDED HOUSES 77
" A man is accountable only to his conscience
and his God."
"Yes, when he has proved traitor to every
other tie, only then."
The words cut Mary like a knife. She rose,
work in hand and stood quivering with passion
as she looked down on her insulter.
" Then the woman who cares for such a man,
who dares stand up for him is a traitor too ? "
she cried as she flung her work to the floor.
" Yes," said Anice acidly.
Mary started towards the door, but a chorus of
girls' voices checked her.
" Don't go, Mary," they cried, " we know, we
don't blame you." But the girl's heart was
overburdened, and bursting into tears, she fled
from the room. She heard the hubbub of voices
as she went hastily out of the house, and even
in that moment of grief she was glad that some
of the girls there would be quick to defend her.
She knew who must have been foremost in this
defence when she heard a light step behind
her and felt Nannie Woods' arm about her
"Don't cry, Mary," said Nannie soothingly.
" ~No one minds Anice Crowder or anything she
says. Anyway, I gave her a good piece of my
mind before I left there, and so did some of the
rest of the girls. I just told her right to her
78 THE FANATICS
face that she'd have more feeling for people if
she had a lover on either side."
Mary was forced to smile a little at her friend's
impetuosity. But from her heart she thanked
the girl, and drew her arm tighter about her
" I suppose Anice thinks that I can send my
love where I will, and that I am to blame if it
does not go in the right, or what she thinks, the
" She's a cat," was the emphatic rejoinder,
"and I for one, will never go to their old sewing-
circle. We'll sew together, just you and I, Mary,
and while I'm making things for Tom, there's no
reason why you shouldn't make a keepsake for
Bob to take with him."
" Oh, that's all right, I know if I lived down
South and it was Tom, I'd "
"Hush, Nannie," said Mary hurriedly, "you
mustn't say those things."
" I will say them and I don't care."
They reached the Waters' gate and the girls
parted. There, for Nannie, the incident closed,
but it was destined to cause Mary Waters even
Women's sewing circles are not usually noted
for their reticence, and the institution at Dorbury
was no exception. Within an hour after it hap-
DIVIDED HOUSES 79
pened, the whole affair was out to the town, and
the story in a highly embellished form reached
Bradford Waters' ears.
He went home in a white passion. Mary had
got supper and was sitting idly by the window
when her father burst into the room. She looked
up and saw on the instant that he had heard.
"What is this I hear of you at the sewing-
circle ? "
" I suppose you have heard the truth or part
" So it has come to the pass where my daughter
must defend a former copperhead and now an
avowed rebel ! "
"The man whom I defended, if defence it
could be called, was to me neither copperhead
nor rebel. He was my lover. I have nothing
to do with his politics. The war has nothing to
do with my love."
She was calmer than usual, and her very quiet-
ness exasperated her father the more.
" I'll have no more of it," he cried passionately,
" I'll have no more of it. Love or no love, a
house divided against itself cannot stand. My
house must be with me. And if my daughter
feels called upon to go over to the enemy's side,
she must go over to the enemy's house. My
house shall not shelter her."
80 THE FANATICS
"Enough, I have said my say. You must
abide by it. I'll have no more such stories as I
have heard to-day poured into my ears. Either
give up that renegade or take your love for him
to another roof."
He flung himself petulantly into a chair and
fell to his supper. Mary did not answer him,
only a look of hard defiance came into her gentle
eyes. It might have struck Bradford Waters
had he seen it, but he did not look at her again.
A little kindness might have done much to
soften the rigor of Mary's feelings, and so
changed the course of events ; for she was easily
swayed through her affections. She would not
have given up Yan Doren, his hold upon her was
too strong. But she would have repressed her-
self even to the hiding of her feelings, had she
not been driven into the open revolt to which
her father's harsh treatment goaded her. Now
the determination to be true to her lover at all
hazards came upon her so strongly that her atti-
tude really became one of aggression.
It was now that the remembrance of Nannie's
thoughtless words came to her, and she asked
herself, " Why not ? " Why should she not
make and give Yan Doren a keepsake to take
into the ranks with him ? She had suffered sor-
row for his sake ; in effect, she had been forcibly,
almost involuntarily, cast on his side. She had
DIVIDED HOUSES 81
to withstand contempt and reviling. Would this
one show of affection be so much more ?
That evening, Mary was very busy sewing,
and so part of the next day, until the time when
her father came home. Then she hastened to
leave her stitching to go about her supper, for in
the absorption of her new idea, she had neg-
Bradford Waters looked at the work which
had stood between him and his meals with an
ill-concealed exasperation. Why couldn't women
sew at the proper time and leave off properly ?
Maybe, though, it was something for her brother
Tom. If that were so, he did not care. He
would go without his meals any time, that Tom
might have a single comfort. Bless the brave
boy. His face softened, and he looked with fill-
ing eyes as his mind dwelt on tender memories
of the soldier son. Suddenly the bit of em-
broidery there on the shelf seemed to take on a
new interest for him.
Mary was crossing the floor with a plate in her
hand, when he rose and going to the shelf, picked
up the work. She made an involuntary motion
as if to stop him and take it away, then she
He stood smiling down on the sewing. " Some-
thing for Tom," he began, and then the smile
froze and the words died on his lips as he turned
82 THE FANATICS
it over. It was only a little maroon housewife
such as any soldier might need in the emergen-
cies of camp life, but on its front were embroid-
ered the letters, " R. V. D."
He stood gazing at them for a moment as if
they were cabalistic, and the mystery was just
filtering through his mind. Then, with trem-
bling hands, he threw it across the room.
"My God," he cried, " and I thought it was for
her brother ! And it is for the comfort of the
enemy ! "
"It is only a keepsake," said Mary faintly.
She was frightened and weakened by his agita-
He looked at her as if he saw her but dimly,
then he said in a hard voice, " This is the end of
all. Pick it up," pointing to the housewife.
" Now go. Take the visible evidence of your
treason and go, and may God and your poor
brother forgive you. I never shall."
At another time, Mary might have pleaded
with him, but she was dazed, and before she had
recovered her presence of mind, her father had
left the house. Then she too, as if still in a
dream, picked up the offending gift and went out.
She could not understand her father. She did
not know what the gift to the enemy meant to
him. How he felt as if a serpent had stung him
from his own hearth.
DIVIDED HOUSES 83
She went mechanically, at first, scarce know-
ing which way she tended. Then thought came
to her, and with the keepsake still in her hand,
she turned dry-eyed towards Nannie Woods'
" It was such a little thing," she murmured as
she went into the house, and then suddenly, un-
consciousness came to her.
AS A MAN THINKETH IN HIS HEAET
When Mary recovered consciousness, it was to
find herself lying in Nannie's own bed and her
friend beside her. For a moment, she did not re-
member what had happened, and then the full
flood tide of recollection swept over her mind.
She buried her head on Nannie's bosom and
sobbed out her story.
" Never mind," said Nannie, " never mind,
you're going to come here and stay with me,
that's what you are going to do. No hard-
hearted fathers are going to bother you, that's
what they're not."
Say what you will, there is always something
of the child left in every woman, and though the
soft-hearted girl talked and cooed to Mary as she
would have done to a restless child, the heart-
broken woman was soothed by it.
" Don't you think father ought to understand,
Nannie ? It isn't because Eobert is a copper-
head or a rebel, whichever he is, that I love him,
but in spite of it."
AS A MAN THINKETH 85
" Mary," said Nannie, and her voice was medi-
tative and her face dreamy, "don't you know
there never was a man yet who knew how or
why a woman loved ? " A new wisdom, a half
playful wisdom though it was, seemed to have
come to the girl. Some women never grow
clear-sighted until their eyes are opened to the
grey form of an oncoming sorrow. Nannie was
of this class. "But," she went on laughing,
" it's all the fault of Father Adam. Men are so
much the sons of their fathers, and it all comes
of giving him the first woman while he was
asleep and not letting him know when nor
" And yet men do love," said Mary seriously.
"Oh, of course they love, but — " the girls'
eyes met and both of them blushed. " It won't
last long anyhow, Mary, so what's the use of be-
ing sad? Let's talk about them." Nannie
cuddled down close to the bed.
" About whom ? " was the deceitful question.
" Oh, you minx, you know whom. What's the
use of asking? I wonder where Tom is to-
night ? "
" It's hard telling, they've been delaying them
so much along the road."
" I don't think it's right at all. They rushed
them off toward Washington, and I think they
ought to be allowed to get there. How's a man
86 THE FANATICS
going to distinguish himself if he can't get any-
where within sight of the enemy ? "
" I haven't your spirit, Nannie, I wish I had.
I forget all about distinction. I only wonder
how it's all going to turn out, and if those I love
are coming back to me."
"Oh, Mary, don't be like that. Of course,
they're coming back, Tom and Rob and all of
them, and we're going to be happy again, and
there won't be any such names called as copper-
head and rebel and abolitionist. Let me show
you what I've made for Tom. I'd have given it
to him before he went away, but it was all so
sudden. Oh, my ! " and for an instant the girl
dropped her chin upon her hands and sat staring
into Mary's eyes without seeing her. Then she
sprang up and darted away. In a few minutes
she returned bearing with her some mysterious
piece of feminine handiwork over which the two
fell into the sweet confidences so dear to their
age and sex.
Nannie, light and frivolous as she seemed, had
a deep purpose in her mind. She saw clearly
that the serious, not to say, morbid cast, of
Mary's character, would drive her to lay too
much importance upon her father's act and so
perhaps, let it prove more injurious to her than
was necessary. Without Mary's depth, she saw
more clearly than Bradford Waters' daughter
AS A MAN THINKETH 87
that a little space of madness was at hand, and
every deed had to be judged not by its face alone,
but by its face as affected by the surrounding at-
mosphere, just as the human countenance shows
ghastly in one light and ruddy in another, with-
out really changing. So she strove to draw her
companion's thought away from her sorrows and
to avert the dangers she anticipated. She suc-
ceeded only in part. After awhile, Mary fell
into a light sleep, but on the morrow she awoke
with a raging fever. The strain on her nerves
had been too great and she had succumbed to it.
At the first intimation of danger to his daugh-
ter, Nannie had bid her father hasten to notify
" It's no use," said Nathan Woods, " Waters is
more set in his views than any man I ever saw.
If he believes that he had reason to send her out
of his house, not even death itself could take her
back there unless those reasons were destroyed.
I know Bradford Waters, and he's a hard man."
But the young woman insisted, and, as usual,
had her way. Her father went to Waters.
There was not much tact or finesse about his ap-
proach. He found his neighbor sitting down to
a lonely breakfast, and depositing his hat on the
floor, after an embarrassed silence, he began.
" Kind of lonesome, eh ? "
" These are no times for men to be lonesome.
88 THE FANATICS
The Lord makes every loyal man a host in him-
" That's good, and yet it isn't the kind of host
that crowds on each other's toes and cracks jokes
to keep the time a-going."
" You're irreverent, Nathan, and besides, this
is no time to be cracking jokes. The hour has
come when the cracking of rifles is the only
" I didn't mean to be irreverent, and I'm afraid
you don't understand. I've come for your own
good, Waters. The little girl sent me. Don't
you think you're doing wrong ? "
" No, as the god of battles is my judge, no ! "
Waters' eyes were blazing, and he had forgotten
" Your daughter is at my house, and she is
sick, very sick."
" I have no daughter."
" God gave you one."
" He also said that a house divided against it-
self cannot stand."
" What of that ? "
" My house is my son Tom and myself."
" What of your daughter, Mary ? "
Waters turned upon him his sad bright eyes,
sad in spite of their hardness.
" If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off," he
said, with a slashing gesture.
AS A MAN THINKETH 89
" That's not right," said Nathan Woods. "It's
not right, I say, to be using the Scripture to
stand between you and your daughter."
" I have no daughter. The daughter I had has
gone out after other gods than mine."
The old New England fanaticism, the Puritan-
ical intolerance, was strong in the man.
" My God," exclaimed his opposer, " quit mu-
tilating the Bible to bolster up your own pride.
Mary's sick, she's sick enough to die, maybe."
" If she die away from home, it is God's will,
perhaps his punishment," said Waters solemnly.
" Is it Jepthah and his daughter ? "
" No, it is David and Absalom."
Nathan Woods got up; he looked long and
hard at his old friend. Then, taking his hat
from the floor, he started for the door. There
" And the war has done this," he said slowly.
" Well, Bradford, I say damn the war."
The lonely father sat down again to his break-
fast, but the food disgusted him.
Mary sick and away from home. What would
Tom say? What would Tom have done? But
then the memory of the whole wrong she
had done him and her brother came back
upon the old man, and he shut his teeth hard.
It was a crime. It was treason. Let her go
her way and die among the people who were
90 THE FANATICS
willing to condone her faults. He could not.
It was not flesh and blood, but soul and spirit
that counted now. It was not that the South
had touched his body, and that Mary had
sided with them. It was that a rebellious sec-
tion had touched not his soul, but the soul of his
country, and his daughter had bade them God-
speed. This was the unforgivable thing. This
was the thing that put the girl outside the
pale of parental pardon. So thinking, he rose
from the table and went out of the disordered
Dorbury was a town of just the size where
any one's business is every one's else. So it was
an impossibility that the breach between Mary and
her father should long remain a secret. A half-
dozen neighbors knew the story an hour after
the doctor had left Nathan Woods' door, and had
told it in varying degrees of incorrectness.
One gossip said that Waters' daughter had
sought to elope with Eobert Yan Doren, had even
got as far as the railway station, when her father
had found her and brought her back. She was
now imprisoned at the Woods', with Nannie to
Another knew on good authority that Mary had
denounced the Union, declared her intention of
doing all she could to aid the Confederacy, and had
then fled from home to escape from her father's
AS A MAN THINKETH 91
just wrath. Anice Crowder's story of the affair
in the sewing-circle gave color to this view of the
Still, another, however, told how Robert Yan
Doren's sweetheart, mad for love of him, and
crazed at the choice he had made, went wander-
ing about the streets until friendly hands took
her to Nannie's door. One man had helped to
take her there.
So the rumors flew from lip to lip like shuttle-
cocks and the story grew with the telling of it.
It would have been strange then, if it had not
reached the ears of the Van Dorens. Indeed, it
came to them on the first morning. Stephen
Yan Doren chuckled.
" You're making a great stir for one poor cop-
perhead," he said to his son. " You've made the
wolf's stir in the Waters 5 sheepfold. If you'll
only cause the Yankees as much trouble when
you have a musket in your hand, I shall have
reason to be proud of my son."
Robert turned angrily upon his father.
" I wish you wouldn't talk that way about the
matter, father. I don't like all this talk about
Mary, and I wish I could stop it. If the girl is
suffering on account of loyalty to me, God bless
her. It's as little as my father could do to speak
respectfully of her sacrifice."
" You do not understand me, Robert, I do not
92 THE FANATICS
laugh at the girl. It is at her father and his
folly that I laugh."
" My love for his daughter makes the father
sacred to me."
" It must be a very strong love that makes
Bradford Waters sacred."
" My love for Mary is deeper and stronger
than any political prejudice that you or I might
" Yery well, Bob, very well, go your own way.
My business is not with your love, but with your
politics; if the latter be all right I shall not
worry about the former."
Robert Van Doren spent little time after hear-
ing of Mary's illness, but betook himself immedi-
ately to her door. Nannie met him and drew
" I am so sorry," she began before he could tell
his errand, " but you cannot see her. She is very
sick and excitable. Oh, Robert, isn't it awful,
this war and all that it is bringing to us ? "
" I wish it were over. Is Mary delirious ? "
" At times, and when she isn't, we could almost
wish she were ; she is so piteous."
" Her father has been hard upon her."
" Yes, that's because he's delirious too. Every
one is mad, you and I and all of us. When shall
we come to our senses ? "
" God knows. Will you give Mary this ? " He
AS A MAN THINKETH 93
drew off his glove and laid it in Nannie's hand.
" Tell her it is forbidden me to say good-bye to
her, but I leave this as a pledge, and when I may,
I shall come back and redeem it."
There were tears on Nannie's face as he turned
toward the door. With an impulsive movement,
she sprang forward and laid her hand on his
arm. " You may kiss me," she said, " and I will
bear it to her, and place it on her lips as you
would have done."
Kobert paused, and bent over her lips as he
might have done over Mary's, and then with a
wave of his hand, he was gone and the door be-
hind him closed. Nannie turned and went to
Mary's room where she laid the glove on the
pillow beside the pale face of the unconscious
girl. Her brow was fevered and her hair di-
shevelled, and every now and then incoherent
words forced themselves between her parched
" I might have let him see her for a minute,
but it was better not to. He would only have
gone away with the misery of it in his heart."
Then Nannie stooped and kissed her friend's
lips. " There, Mary," she said, " it's from him.
Oh, my dear, dear girl, if your father could see
you now, I believe even his heart would melt
But Bradford Waters was not to see her then.
94 THE FANATICS
With bowed head and slow steps, eaten by grief,
anger and anxiety, he made his way towards the
tobacco warehouse where he spent a large part
of the day among his employees. The place had
never seemed quite the same to him since the
first day Tom had been absent from his desk.
He was thinking of him now as he went cheer-
lessly along. What a head for business the boy
had. How much more of a success he would be
than ever his father had been. How the men
loved him already. It was no wonder that Mary
— but Mary He checked his thoughts and
set his teeth hard. There was no Mary, no sister
any more. She had broken the tie that bound
her to Tom and him. He said this to himself be-
cause he did not know how women wrench and
tear their hearts to keep from breaking ties that
war with each other.
He was absorbed in such thoughts when some
one hailed him from a doorway.
" What news ? " said a gentleman stepping out
and joining him in his walk.
" No news, except of delay," said Waters in a
" Where is the gallant First now ? "
They were already the " Gallant First " al-
though they had not yet got within powder-
smelling distance of the enemy.
" The gallant First is being delayed and played
AS A MAN THINKETH 95
with somewhere between Columbus and Wash-
" Why should that be ? "
" It all comes of electing a gentleman gov-
" Why now, Waters," said Davies, smilingly.
" There is surely no objection to a governor's
being a gentleman ? "
" There's some objection to his being nothing
" You remind me a good deal of the Method-
ists and the devil ; whatever bad happens, they
are never at a loss to know where to put the
blame. I sometimes think that maybe the devil
is painted a little black, and likewise, maybe,
Dennison isn't to blame for everything that goes
wrong in the handling of this situation."
Waters took this sally with none too good a
grace. Davies was suspected of being luke-
warm in the Union cause, and some had even ac-
cused him of positive Southern sympathies. He
was a wealthy, polished, easy-going man, and his
defence of Governor Dennison, whose acts every
one felt free to blame at that time, was more be-
cause he sympathized with that gentleman's
aristocratic tastes and manners than because he
wished delay to the progress of the Union's
" So you think it's Dennison who's delaying the
96 THE FANATICS
troops, do you ? " he went on in a light, banter-
" I think nothing about it, I only know that
our boys went rushing away to the state capital,
and under the impression that Washington was
menaced, were sent flying east half equipped and
totally unprepared for the conflict, and I do know
that despite their haste, they have not reached
their destination yet."
" For which, of course, the devil is to blame ? "
" Whoever is to blame, this is no time for a
banqueting, bowing, speech-making governor.
We need a man of action in the chair now, if we
ever did. Look how things are going at Colum-
bus. Troops flocking there, no provision made
for them. Half of them not knowing whether
they are to be accepted or not and the dandy
who calls himself the chief executive sits there
and writes letters. My God, what have we
come to ! "
" Have you ever thought that even a governor
needs time to adjust himself to a great crisis ?
Is it not true that the authorities of the general
government insisted on the regiment in which
your son's company is placed going directly to
Washington ? "
" Then why are they not there instead of dally-
ing about, heaven knows where, while a lot of
other fellows are being quartered at the Colum-
AS A MAN THINKETH 97
bus hotels at extortionate prices which the tax-
payers must pay ? "
" Are you measuring your patriotism by dol-
lars and cents ? "
" I'm measuring my patriotism by the greatest
gift that any one could make to his country, his
only son. Have you an equal measure ? "
€i No, but I have some confidence in my state
and my country's officers, and that is worth some-
thing in a time like this. Now don't get hot in
the collar, Waters, but you wait awhile and give
Dennison and the government time."
"Yes, wait, wait, that's been the cry right
along. Wait until every road this side the capi-
tal of the country is blocked and from Maryland
and Virginia the rebels march victorious into
Washington. Don't talk to me of waiting,
Davies, we have waited too long already, that's
what's the matter."
Davies laughed lightly as he turned down the
street which led to his own office.
Bradford Waters' intemperance was a great
index of the spirit of the time as it was mani-
fested in Ohio. Governor Dennison was too slow
for the radicals ; too swift for the conservatives,
and incompetent in the opinion of both. Noth-
ing could happen, except what was good, nothing
could go wrong but that he was blamed for it.
All the men who volunteered could not be ac-
98 THE FANATICS
cepted and Dennison was to blame. The soldiers
were delayed enroute and Dennison was to
blame. Rations were scarce and prices high and
Dennison was to blame, and so all the odium that
attaches to a great war which strikes a people un-
prepared for it, fell upon the head of the hapless
A LETTEE FROM THE FRONT
In the days which followed the separation be-
tween Mary and himself, Bradford Waters was
indeed a lonely man. He was harassed not only
by the breach with the child he loved and the
public comments upon it, but torn with anxiety
for Tom. He spent his days and nights in brood-
ing that made him harder and bitterer as time
went on. His fanatical dislike for Stephen Yan
Doren grew because this man and his family
seemed to him the author of all his woes. He
was not only just a copperhead, now, with a son
in the Confederate army, he stood as the person-
ification of the whole body of rebellion that had
taken Waters' son and daughter and broken up
his home. He could have no pride in his soldier
boy without cursing Yan Doren for being one of
those who had driven him into danger. He
could not grieve for the loss of Mary without
sending his imprecations flying in the same di-
rection. Always to his distorted vision, his old-
100 THE FANATICS
time enemy appeared as some relentless monster
grinning in terrible glee at his distress.
Despite his moroseness, however, there was a
wistful, almost plaintive attitude in Waters' con-
duct towards his acquaintances. He hovered be-
tween moods of grief, anxiety and pride. But
always, at the last, the innate hardness of his na-
ture triumphed. There were times when his
heart cried out for Mary, for some one of his
blood to share his grief with him. But he
closed his lips and uttered no word to bring her
back to him. Always a simple-living man, ac-
customed to no service save that of his own fam-
ily, he was compelled to employ a servant, and
this galled him, not out of penuriousness, but be-
cause he could not bear an alien in his home.
He felt her eyes upon him at moments when it
seemed that the struggle in his heart must be
written large upon his face, and it filled him
with dumb, helpless anger.
A change, too, was taking place in Van Doren.
Now that he had a son in the field, he had a new
feeling for his friend and enemy. Besides being
a partisan, he was a father and the paternal in-
stinct prompted him to change his actions to-
wards Waters. Had the two old men let them-
selves, they would have poured out their fears,
hopes and anxieties to each other, and found re-
lief and sympathy. Both affectionate fathers,
A LETTEE FROM THE FKONT 101
similarly bereft of sons and similarly alone, they
might have been a comfort to each other, but
that their passions forbade their fraternizing.
Often they met upon the streets and Van Doren
would look at Waters with a question in his eyes.
It would have been such a natural thing to say,
" Any news of Tom ? " and to be asked in the
same tone, " What of Bob ? " But Waters
always scowled fiercely although he kept his
head averted. So each, smothering down the
yearning in his heart for companionship and
sympathy passed on his way with a curb bit on
It was about this time that dispatches from
the front gave warning that a sharp, though
brief encounter had taken place between the
rebels and a detachment of troops under General
Schenck. The news ran like wildfire through
Dorbury, for it was at first rumored and then
assured that the First, to which the home com-
pany belonged, had been engaged and had lost
several men. Every home out of which a hus-
band, son or father had gone, waited with
breathless expectancy, longing, yet dreading to
hear more definite tidings from the field. The
people about every fireside clustered closer to-
gether with blanched faces, wondering if their
circle had been touched. This was war indeed,
and with the first fear for their loved ones,
102 THE FANATICS
came the first realization of what it really
At first, Bradford Waters tried hard to re-
strain himself. He gripped his hands hard and
paced up and down the room. But finally, he
could stand it no longer. The house had
grown close and unbearable. Its walls seemed
to be narrowing in upon him like the sides of a
torture chamber. He hurried out into the street
and into the telegraph office. There was no
further news. Then to the office of the one re-
maining paper. Their bulletin furnished nothing
further. For two hours he paced back and forth
between these two places, feverish and disturbed.
Yan Doren saw him pass back and forth on his
anxious tramp, and his own heart interpreted
the other's feelings. Once, the impulse came to
him to speak to Waters, and he rose from the
window where he had been sitting, and went to
the door, but the crazed man turned upon him
such a grey, haggard face and withal so fierce
and unfriendly, that he retreated from his good
intentions, and let him pass on unchallenged.
The next day the news was better. The papers
said that the casualties had been almost nothing.
Waters' hopes rose, and he showed a more
cheerful face to those who saw him. Maybe
Tom was safe, after all, maybe he had been gal-
lant in action, and would be promoted. His
A LETTER FROM THE FRONT 103
heart throbbed with joy and pride as if what he
wished were already a fact. It is a strange
thing about home people in war time that after
the first pang of anxiety is over, the very next
thought is one of ambition. They seem all to
see but two contingencies for their loved ones,
death or promotion. It happened that there
was not a single engagement of the war, how-
ever small or insignificant, but it gave some
home circle a thrill of hope that one who was
dear to them might have moved up a notch in
the notice and respect of his country. It was
not narrowness nor was it the lust for personal
advancement. It was rather the desire of those
who give of their best to serve a beloved cause
to have them serve it in the highest and most re-
sponsible position possible.
Meanwhile, to Mary slowly recovering her
strength and balance, had come much of the
anxiety which racked her father. With the in-
consistent faith of a woman, she said that God
could not have let her brother fall in this first
fight, and she prayed that he might be restored to
them safe. And even before the breath of her
declaration and prayer had cooled on her lips, she
wept as she pictured him dead on the roadside.
Later, it is true, these people's hearts came to
be so schooled in the terrible lessons of civil war
that they let such light skirmishes as this one at
104 THE FANATICS
Vienna give them little uneasiness. But then,
they did not know.
Bradford Waters' great joy came to him two
days after the papers had lightened his care.
There was a list of the wounded and killed, and
Tom's name was not among them. Then came
" Dear father," it ran, " I suppose you've been
in horrible suspense about me, and a good deal
of it is my fault. But when a fellow is learning
entirely new things, among them how to write
without any sort of writing materials under the
sun, it isn't easy, is it ? Then, too, I've been
trying to learn to be a soldier. It's awfully dif-
ferent, this being a militiaman and a soldier.
In the first place, a militiaman may curse his
governor. A soldier must not. It's been hard
refraining, but I haven't cursed Dennison as I
wanted to. Some of the fellows say he's all
right, but we've been delayed on the way here
by first one thing and then another until the pa-
tience of all of us is worn out. If it isn't Gov-
ernor Dennison's fault, whose is it ? I wish
you'd find out. We fellows don't know, and
can't find out anything. The generals just take
us wherever they please and never consult us
about anything. But I'm used to that now.
" Of course, you've heard about the trouble at
Vienna, and I was afraid you'd be considerably
worried. It wasn't anything much. Only it
was different from a muster day. Some rebels
fired on our train unexpectedly, but we tumbled
A LETTER FROM THE FRONT 105
out helter-skelter and fired back at them, and so
they let us alone. It didn't seem quite fair to
jump on a fellow when he wasn't looking, but I
guess this is war.
" There isn't a thing to do about Washington
these days. It's as safe as a meeting-house. There
are some New York troops here that I have got
acquainted with, but we don't any of us do any-
thing but look pretty. Some of the fellows are
already looking forward to the mustering out
day. But mustered out or not, I'm going to
hang around here, for there's no telling when
things are going wrong, and for my part, I ex-
pect more trouble. A set of fellows who will
fire on their own flag as they did at Sumter are
perfectly capable of lying low until they quiet
our suspicions and then raising the very dickens.
" Give Mary my love, and tell her she ought
to see Washington and all the pretty girls here
that cheer us as we go along the streets. (Tell
her to read this part of the letter to Nannie.
I'm going to write her anyway in a day or two,
but now it's all go, go, go, learn, learn, learn.)
Take care of yourself, father, or rather let Mary
take care of you, for you would never think of
it. I'll write you again when I get a chance.
" Your son,
Bradford Waters could have wept for joy over
his son's letter, but that he felt weeping to be
unworthy of a soldier's father. The battle of
Vienna had been fought and his son had come
out safe. He thought of it as a Thermopylse
106 THE FANATICS
when it was only a petty skirmish. A few
rebels fired at a few Unionists, who lined them-
selves up against their cars and returned the fire.
This was all, but he preferred to think of his son
as one of a band of heroes who at great odds had
repelled the assailants of their country's flag, and
held the day against armed treason.
One thing grieved him greatly, the refer-
ence to Mary. He could not tell her nor
talk it over with her. She take care of him !
What would her brother think if he knew how
they were living, and he was going to write to
Nannie ? Would she not tell him all, and what
encouragement would this be to the boy in the
field when he knew how matters were going at
home ? Bradford Waters' hand trembled and
the letter burned in his fingers.
Notwithstanding his perplexity, when Waters
appeared on the streets that day, Stephen Yan
Doren seeing him, did not need to inquire to
know that the Unionist had received a welcome
letter from his son, and secretly, he rejoiced at
it. Knowing as he did, that the time would come
when anxiety for his own boy would tear at his
heart, he could not begrudge the other man his
joy. He was pleased, too, because as he passed
Waters and looked into his beaming face, there
seemed almost an inclination on his part to stop
A LETTER FROM THE FRONT 107
Indeed, the old Unionist did want to stop and
say, " Stephen, I've heard from Tom, and he's all
right." He did not, and the repression only
made him long the more for Mary. He wanted
her to see his letter, to know that her brother
was being cheered by the women of Washington,
and to feel what he felt. But would she feel so ?
Had not her heart already gone too strongly to
the other side ? The question came again to
him, and he hardened again in face of it.
He would not tell her nor send the letter to
her. She was a traitor. But he would let her
know that he had received it. So that afternoon,
he talked much of his letter in the places where
men congregate, and told what Tom had said,
and Mary heard of it from others and burned
That night, as soon as darkness had fallen,
eluding Nannie's vigilance, she crept out of the
house. She made her way to her own home, and
back and forth before the door, she walked and
kept vigil. Maybe her father would see her and
come out and tell her more of Tom. Maybe he
would understand and forgive her and she could
go back to him again. But she wished in vain,
and after a time, her heart unsatisfied, she went
back to Nannie's, and silently let herself in.
It was after midnight, when Waters crept out
of his house, and with feverish steps made his
108 THE FANATICS
way to the Woods' door. For a long time he
walked up and down before the place even as
Mary had done, and then, as if struck with a
sudden determination, he opened the gate and
going to the door, slipped the letter under it.
Then he turned away home, feeling lighter and
better because he had shared his joy with his
SOEEOW MAY LAST FOE A NIGHT
It was of a piece with the proverbial blindness
of man that Nathan Woods should have stepped
over the letter as he went out in the morning
without taking note of it, just as it was natural
to the keen sight of woman that Nannie should
see it the first thing as she came down in the
morning. She ran swiftly towards it and cast her
eye over the address. At first she gasped, then
she awoke the echoes with a joyous shriek and
went flying up to Mary's room, Mary sat up in
bed in dumb amazement which was only in-
creased when the enthusiastic girl threw her arms
about her and began sobbing and laughing alter-
" Oh, Mary," she cried, " it's come, it's come,
and he's all right."
"What is it, Nannie? What's come, and
who's all right ? "
" Your father's been here, oh ! "
" My father ? When ? What did he say ? "
110 THE FANATICS
" Nothing, oh, I didn't see him, he didn't say
" I don't understand you, Nannie. You say
my father didn't say anything at all ? "
" Why, how could he ? He came at night, and
he didn't say anything because he couldn't, you
know. We were all asleep, but he left this."
She broke off her violent demonstrations long
enough to thrust the letter into Mary's hand, then
she immediately resumed them with such a de-
gree of fervor that her friend found it impossible
to get a glimpse of the missive she held in her
hand. Gently, at last, she put her hand aside,
and then trembling with anticipation, glanced at
the letter. Her face fell.
" But this is not addressed to me," she said.
" Oh, you great goose, don't you see, that it's to
your father and from Tom and that he wanted
you to know ? Else why should he have slipped
it under the door ? "
" Do you think he did it, really ? "
" Of course, he did, who else ? He couldn't
lose it crawling into our hallway, and that's the
only other way it could have got there."
" I wonder if I ought to read it ? " mused Mary
fingering the envelope eagerly, but nervously.
" Mary Waters ! " exclaimed Nannie, " if you
don't read that letter this instant, I'll take it
from you and read it myself."
SORROW MAY LAST A NIGHT 111
" That's right, do, Nannie, you're braver than
I am," and Mary proffered the letter. But
Nannie sprang back with sudden timidity.
" No, I won't," she said. " It's for you, but if
it were my brother's letter, I'd have read it long
" Well, I'll read it, if you'll stay and hear it,"
and she took the penciled sheets out and began
the perusal of the words which had brought so
much joy to her father's heart. As she read, the
color came back to her faded cheeks and the
light to her eyes. Her bosom heaved with pleas-
ure and pride. Nannie was no less delighted.
As the reading went on, she continued to give
Mary little encouraging hugs, and she was radiant.
Then came the passage about the girls.
" Humph," said Nannie, " is that all a soldier
has to write about? I should think he'd be
thinking more about the safety of his country
than about the girls he sees."
" Oh, you know he's only funning, Nannie,
and then he says Washington's as safe as a meet-
" I don't believe it. I believe the rebels are
waiting to swoop down on the city at any time
and capture all our state papers, and archives
and things, wherever they keep them, while our
soldiers go around looking pretty for the girls to
cheer. Humph ! "
112 THE FANATICS
Mary kissed her and laughed, and the rest of
the reading proceeded without demonstrations
from Tom's sweetheart. At its close, she made
no comment whatever, but sat upon the bed
swinging her feet with pronounced indifference.
"Aren't you glad to hear from him?" said
Mary merrily, " and to find him in such good
spirits ? Dear old Tom. And wasn't it good of
father to bring his letter to me ? Didn't I tell
you, Nannie, that my father didn't mean half he
said ? "
" No you didn't, Mary Waters. You thought
the end of everything had come, even after I
tried to convince you that it hadn't, and as for
being glad, to be sure, I'm glad you've heard
from your brother. Any one with relatives in
the field must be very anxious."
" But you know, he said he was going to write
to you, Nannie."
" It's very kind in him ; I wonder he can take
time from his Washington girls to write."
Then Mary laughed. " It can't be that you
are jealous, Nannie, girl," she said affectionately
taking her friend in her arms. " You know Tom
is teasing you."
" I jealous ! " oh how the little woman sniffed !
" I can assure you that I'm not jealous, but I
have the interests of my country at heart, and I
cannot but feel sorry to see our soldiers giving
SORKOW MAY LAST A NIGHT 113
themselves up to trivial amusements when she is
in danger of — oh, just the most awful things.
I'm not jealous, oh, no, but I'm ashamed of Tom."
" Why, Nannie, how can you ? " said Mary
" Well, I am, and I mean it, and it's awful,
that's what it is."
"I'm sorry my brother has offended you."
" Oh, Mary," Nannie was always inarticulate
in her emotion, but Mary understood the burst
of tears as Nannie threw herself on her bosom,
and forgave her disparagement of Tom.
" What a little silly you are. You know he
was only joking."
" Joking ! Such a letter isn't any joke. It's
brutal, that's what it is. Pretty girls cheering
him ! I hate those Washington girls. I just
know they're bold, brazen things, and they
didn't look at another man but Tom."
" Never you mind, you'll have a letter soon."
" I don't want it."
" All right. Maybe it won't come. The mails
are very irregular now."
" Mary Waters, how can you say such a mean
thing ? "
"I didn't think you'd mind it."
" But I do mind it. You know the mails are
regular here. It's not the mails that I'm worry-
114 THE FANATICS
She must have worried about something
though, for when her father came in with the
morning paper, she was eager to know if he
had been to the post office, and on receiving a
negative answer, was downcast for fully five
" The mail wouldn't have been sorted yet, any-
how," said her father, " and Banes's boy's going
to bring it when he goes for theirs. 1 '
" The mail is very slow in Dorbury, isn't it ? "
Nannie proffered a little later, and was angry
because Mary laughed again.
The promise of a letter was at least two days
away, but Nannie ate very little that morning.
She fastened her eyes upon the window which
commanded the walk up which the Banes boy
must come. Finally, when he hove in sight, she
sprang away from the table with a cry, of " Oh,
there he is ! " and every one knew why her appe-
tite had lapsed.
Fate was kind. It was kind two days ahead
of promise, a strange thing, but this was her off
day. There was a letter, and it was for Nannie
and from Tom. She came directly to the table
with it, because she didn't know any better, and
there were no daws about to peck at an exposed
heart. She read and smiled and bridled and
blushed while the rest of the assembly neglected
SORROW MAY LAST A NIGHT 115
" Oh, give us some of it," said her father ban-
" I won't," she answered, and it was a good
thing Tom couldn't see her smile and blush, for if
he had been any sort of man, he would have de-
serted at once.
"Isn't there anything he says that we may
hear ? "
" Oh, do let me alone," she answered, and —
well, it's hard to tell, but she giggled.
"What a softy he must be," said her little
brother, "just writing about no-account things,
when you'd think he'd be saying something about
fighting. 'Tain't polite to read letters before
"You hush up, Eeuben," said Nannie indig-
nantly, "don't you suppose a soldier can talk
about anything but the horrors of war ? "
"I knew it was from Tom," said Eeuben
"Keep quiet, Eeuben," said his father, "no
telling when you'll be putting on fresh ties every
night, an' tryin' to find out an excuse to be out
to a ' literary ' or a singing school."
Eeuben grew red and was silent. His particu-
lar tone of red was what is denominated Turkey,
and it was relieved by freckles.
" Well, I'll just read you a little of it," said
Nannie finally. " I'm not going to tell you what
116 THE FANATICS
he calls me in the beginning. That's none of
their business, is it, Mary ? " and she ran over
and kissed Tom's sister for Tom's sake. Then
she looked at the letter again.
" Well, he says, ' Dear little — ' no I'm going
to leave that out. He sends his love to you,
papa, but of course, that's at the last."
" Would it hurt you to be consecutive ? " asked
Nathan Woods drily.
"Oh, now, don't tease, just listen. He says,
oh, Mary, he doesn't say another word about
those Washington girls. It was only a joke,
don't you think it was ? I knew Tom couldn't
be thinking very seriously just of girls when
there was something very, very important to do.
You know I told you so, Mary."
" No," said Mary tantalizingly, " I don't think
that you did tell me just that."
" And of course," said her father, " you may
not know it isn't, but this is not, I maintain, this
is not hearing the letter."
" Oh, well, he says he's in Washington. How
perfectly charming it must be in Washington. I
know that must be a great town with the govern-
ment and senators and such things about you.
Dear, how I should like to be there, and oh,
Mary, don't you remember about the Potomac in
the geography, just think, Tom's seen the
Potomac ! "
SORROW MAY LAST A NIGHT 117
" I know about the Potomac," said Reuben.
"That's not the letter yet," was her father's
" Well, if you'd only stop, father, I'd get to
it," said Nannie.
" We are dumb."
" Oh, papa, now, please don't joke, it's really
very, very serious."
" Has one among them been taken ? "
" That's just it, that's just it. The rebels tried
to take them, and they didn't, and Tom — Tom —
I think he ought to be promoted for it. It's
" What did Tom do ? Save his whole brigade ? "
" Well, I don't know that he did that, but he
says that he shot and shot, and that the bullets
spit up against the car behind him. Think of it ! "
" It would have been a good deal worse if they
had spit up against him," said Woods. He had
been in the Mexican war and unfortunately had
lost his romance. "Now, daughter, for the
" All right, you won't mind omissions, will
you ? "
" No, if you'll only omit your pauses and ex-
" ' We are here, at last at the capital, and I tell
you, it's a great place. I don't wonder in the
least that men want to be congressmen when
118 THE FANATICS
they can live in a town like this. Why, I'd be
willing to take all the cares of the government
on my shoulders just to live in a town like this.
But you know, the voters have never pressed
upon my shoulders the affairs of state, and so my
willingness to be unselfish goes for nothing ! '
Now isn't that bright of Tom ? "
" Oh, Nannie, for heaven's sake, go on."
Nathan Woods was both short and impatient.
" What we want is news, news about the troops
and their condition there."
" I'm afraid, papa," said Nannie ruefully, " that
there isn't much news. But never mind, listen.
' I got to see Lincoln the other day, and I don't
think much of him. He's a big raw-boned fellow
with a long face and an awfully serious look.
But for any kind of polish I'll bet old Dennison
could give him a good many lessons, although I
don't think much of Dennison. My own- '
Oh, no, there's where I've got to make an omis-
sion, but he goes on to say, ' People are saying
that the rebellion is going to be a good deal
bigger thing than we think, and that three
months' service is hardly going to begin the
fighting, others say different. Well, I don't
care. I'm in it to stay, and you needn't expect
to see me until we've licked the boots off these
fellows. Do you know what they say ? They
boast that one Southerner can lick five Yankees.
SOKROW MAY LAST A NIGHT 119
Well, I'd like to see them try it.' Oh, isn't that
just like Tom? He always was in for experi-
" Go on, Nannie, and omit comment."
" ' But as old man Wilson used to say in geom-
etry class, if they proceed upon this hypothesis,
they will be wrong.' Oh, Mary, don't you re-
member old Mr. Wilson, and how often Tom used
to tell us about his funny expressions. How
awfully clever of him to think of it now. But
I know you're waiting to hear the rest. Oh, I
can't read this, papa, not a bit of it. Nor the
rest, oh, I wouldn't read that for anything. Tom
is so enthusiastic. You know how he is. That's
just what is going to make a good soldier out of
him. He says, ' I've seen General Schenck, and
he's just what you would expect from the Schenck
family. It seems as if those people kept them-
selves busy making decent men. The boys all
like him, although they have not got generally
trained into liking generals yet. Say, Nannie — '
and that's all," said the young girl with a guilty
" How abruptly your brother ends his letters,"
said Nathan Woods, turning to Mary with a
quizzical smile. " It may be striking, but it's not
a good literary style."
" You must always consider the collaborator,
Mr. Woods," said Mary.
120 THE FANATICS
"In this case, I'm not sure that it has been
collaboration. It may have been interpretation,
or even, heaven help us, expurgation."
" Papa," said Nannie with a very red face,
then she gathered up the loose sheets of her letter
and fled from the table.
" Mary," said Nathan "Woods, " what has hap-
pened this morning has made me very happy,
but don't count too much upon it. No man re-
spects your father more than I do. But the
oyster opens his shell for a little and then shuts
it as tight as ever. So I would advise you to
stay with us a while longer. Had he wanted you
at home, now this is plain, he would have come
to you openly ; but in putting the letter under
the door, he only made a sacrifice on account of
his love for Tom. Don't cry, little girl."
"No, I'm going to be brave, for I am glad
even of this kindness from him — but "
" Aren't we treating you pretty well ? "
" Yes, but Mr. Woods, you know, don't you ? "
" Yes, I believe I do understand how you feel
about it, but just keep on waitin', your time'll
With the incidents that immediately succeeded
the skirmish at Vienna, this story has little to do.
Notwithstanding the enlistment of only three-
months-men, the country had begun to settle
down to the realization of war, not insurrection,
not only rebellion any longer, but war, stern, im-
placable, and perhaps to last longer than had at
first been expected. As the days passed, there
was talk of reorganization. The first was not
behindhand in the matter, and by the August
following work among the men had begun.
On the day that the men came home, Dorbury,
complacent because no casualty had as yet at-
tacked her ranks, was out in full force to meet
them. They, too, recognized the state of war,
but as yet, it was only a passive condition, and
when they saw their unbroken lines come back,
three months' veterans, their pride and joy knew
no bounds. That many of their men would re-
turn to the field, would go back to soldiers' deaths
and soldiers' graves, did not disturb them then.
122 THE FANATICS
Sufficient into the day is the evil thereof. So
they put away all thought of further disaster,
and revelled only in the present.
Among those who came back, proud and
happy, none was more noticeable than " Nigger
Ed." The sight of camps, the hurry of men and
the press of a real responsibility had evoked a
subtle change in the negro, and though his black
face showed its accustomed grins, and he an-
swered with humor the sallies made at him, he
capered no more in the public square for the
delectation of the crowd that despised him. He
walked with a more stately step and the people
greeted him in more serious tones, as if his asso-
ciation with their soldiers, light though it had
been, had brought him nearer to the manhood
which they still refused to recognize in him.
Perhaps the least joyous of them all was
Walter Stewart, who had given up his family for
a principle. While the other boys returned to
eager relatives, he came home to no waiting
mother's arms, and no sweetheart was there to
greet him with love and pride in her eyes.
There were friends, of course, who gave him
hearty hand-clasps. But what were friends com-
pared with one's own family ?
His mood was not improved when less than
two days after the return there came a telegram
calling him to the bedside of his dying father.
AT HOME 123
It was a great blow to the young fellow, and
coming as it did, seemingly as a reproof of his
career, it may be forgiven him, if in his grief, his
heart grew lukewarm towards the cause he had
espoused. As soon as he was able, he hastened
away to Virginia and his father's bedside, torn
with conflicting emotions of remorse, love and
On an open space topping a hill near Dorbury,
the white tents of the reorganizing regiment had
begun to settle like a flock of gulls on a green
sea. Most of the men who had been out were
going back again, and the town took on a
military appearance. It came to be now that
the girl who had not a military lover or relative
was one to be pitied, and the one who had, stood
up with complacent Phariseeism and thanked
her Creator that she was not as other maidens
It was now that the sewing-circle exerted itself
to the utmost, both in their natural province and
in entertainment for the soldiers. Everything
now, had the military prefix to it. There were
soldiers' balls, soldiers' teas, soldiers' dinners and
soldiers' concerts. Indeed, the sentiment bade
fair to run to a foolish craze, and those who felt
most deeply and looked forward with fear to
what the days might bring forth, beheld this tend-
124 THE FANATICS
Many of the volunteers, from being decent,
sensible fellows, had developed into conceited
prigs. The pride of their families and the adu-
lation of indiscreet women and none-two-well
balanced men, combined to turn their thoughts
more upon the picturesqueness of their own per-
sonalities than upon the seriousness of what was
yet to be done. They were blinded by the glare
of possible heroism, and sometimes lost sight of
the main thing for which they had banded them-
selves together. It would be entirely false to say
that at their first realization of what they had
gone into they did not rise to all that was ex-
pected of them. But such was for a time the
prevailing spirit, and for a while it called forth
the sneers of old men who had not forgotten 1812
and 1846, at these three months' soldiers.
There were others, too, who smiled at the be-
havior of the young soldiers with less generous
thoughts. Among them, Stephen Yan Doren,
who watched from behind closed blinds their
comings and goings.
" Do they expect to whip the South, which is
all fire and passion, with their stripling dandies,
who go about the streets posing for a child's
wonder and a woman's glance? Bah, the men
who have gone into the field from the states of
rebellion, have gone to fight for a principle, not
to wear a uniform. They are all earnestness and
AT HOME 125
self-sacrifice, and that's what's going to take the
South to victory."
His old housekeeper, who was alone with him
on the place, heard with admiration and belief,
for she shared her master's opinion of the relative
worth of the two sections of the country. Neither
one of them knew that the young men of the
South were taking their valets into the service
with them ; entering it as gallants with the tra-
ditionary ideas of the day, and leaving college
for the field, because they believed it would be a
It was perfectly true of both sections that
neither looked upon the contest at first with a
great amount of seriousness. But it is equally
true that the fact might have been forgiven
the youth of a country whose sons hitherto
had made a common cause against a general
Unlike Van Doren, who stayed between walls
and chuckled at the coming discomfiture of the
Union arms, Bradford Waters was much upon
the streets, and at Camp Corwin, as if the sight
of these blue-coated defenders of the flag gave
him courage and hope. He had a good word
for every soldier he met, and his eyes sparkled as
they told him of Tom, and the few experiences
they had had together.
Tom, true to his promise, had not returned
126 THE FANATICS
with the rest, but had preferred to remain near
the seat of war, and to join his regiment after its
reorganization. The old man took pride, even, in
this fact. To him, it was as if Tom were staying
on the field where he could guard the safety of
his country in an hour of laxity on the part of
his comrades. He longed to see him, of course,
but there was joy in the pain he felt at making a
sacrifice of his own desires. He had not loaned
his son to the cause. He had given him freely
The difference in attitude, between Van Doren
and Waters, was the difference between regard
for traditions and a personal faith. The South-
erner said, " What my people have done," the
Yankee, " What a man must do." Said one,
" Coming from the stock he does, Bob must fight
well." Said the other, " If they all fight like Tom,
we're bound to whip." It all came to the same
thing at last, but the contrast was very apparent
At news of the safety of his enemy's son, the
copperhead had lost any sympathy he may have
had for his Union antagonist, and the other no
longer looked wistfully at his foreman's face
when they chanced to meet.
It was not unnatural that the two girls, Nan-
nie and Mary, should be affected by the hero-
worshipping spirit of the town, and being de-
AT HOME 127
prived of the objects of their immediate affection,
enter heartily into the business of spoiling all the
other young men they could. To Nannie, it was
all very pleasant, and something of coquetry en-
tered into her treatment of the soldiers. But
with Mary it was different. Her thoughts and
motives were serious, and her chief aim was to
do something for Tom's old associates, for Tom's
There was no abatement of the rigor of the es-
trangement between her and her father, for al-
though, after the incident of the letter, she had
expected him to call her home, he had made no
further sign, nor had she. She had yielded not
one whit in her devotion and loyalty to Robert
Van Doren. But she took pleasure in doing lit-
tle kindnesses for the men whom she knew hated
him for the choice he had made. The time soon
came, when even this pleasure^ gentle as it was,
was denied her.
The story went round among the soldiers that
old Waters' daughter was the sweetheart of a
rebel soldier, and that in spite of all her good
work, she had left home for love of him and his
cause, and they grew cold towards her. Some
were even rude.
It hurt the girl, but she continued her minis-
trations, nevertheless. Then one day as she
passed through the camp where the girls some-
128 THE FANATICS
times went, she heard a voice from a tent singing
" Father is a Unionist, so is Brother Tom,
But I, I'm making lots o' things
To keep a rebel warm. ' '
Mary flushed and hurried on, but the voice
sang after her :
" Never mind my Union home, never mind my flag,
What's the glorious stars and stripes
Beside Jeff Davis' rag?
Damn my home and family, damn my Northern pride,
So you let me go my way to be a rebel's bride."
The song which some scalawag had impro-
vised, cut Mary to the heart, but though no man
would have dared sing it openly, she never took
the chance of hearing it again. In spite of
Nannie's pleadings, she would not go again where
soldiers were congregated. Nor would she tell
her reason, not that she felt shame in her love,
but that there seemed some shade of truth in the
song. She did want to go her way and she
did want to be Robert's bride, even though they
called him by such a name as rebel. She loved
him and what had the stars and stripes or love
of country to do with that ? What he believed
was nothing to her, it was only what he was.
She had heard from Robert but once since his
departure ; a brief but brave and loving letter,
AT HOME 129
in which he told her that he was safe within the
Confederate lines, and spoke of John Morgan,
whom he had already begun to admire. Now in
the dark moment of her sorrow, when every
hand seemed turned against her because she loved
this man, she dreamed over his letter as if it
were a sacred writing, and so dreaming kept to
herself whenever she could. Even old Nathan
Woods began to look askance at her when her
visits and ministrations to the soldiers ceased.
But he comforted himself with the philosophy
that " A woman is an unreasonable creature and
never is responsible for her actions," and however
false this may be in fact, it satisfied him towards
Mary, and kept him unchanged to her. He was
influenced, too, by Nannie's stalwart faith.
While she could not understand Mary, could not
enter into the secret chambers of her soul and see
what was within there, she believed in her, and
faith is stronger than knowledge.
" Never mind," she said one day after roundly
scolding her friend for remaining so close to the
house, " I know you've got some good reason,
though I'm sure it's something fanciful. It's so
like you, Mary." This may have been a bit in-
consistent in the young girl, but it was express-
ive of her trust in Mary, and the burdened girl
was grateful for it.
So, with bicker, prejudice, adulation, discon-
130 THE FANATICS
tent and a hundred other emotions that must
come to human beings, the stream of days went
on, and the reorganization of the First was an
accomplished fact. Still, from the South there
came news of battle and from Cincinnati there were
tidings of Kentucky's threatening attitude. West
Virginia had been rescued for the Union, but
what if this even more powerful state went over
to the Confederacy. Men were of many minds.
Some were wondering at the president for his
tardiness, and others cursing Dennison for his
rashness. It became the fashion to damn Lin-
coln on Sunday and Dennison on Monday. It
was from such a hot-bed of discontent that the
First finally tore itself, and left Dorbury on the
last day of October for the southernmost city of
A JOUKNEY SOUTH
The condition of mind in which young "Walter
Stewart left Dorbury was not calculated to bring
him back hastily for the reorganization of his old
regiment. His thoughts were more of seeing his
father alive, and of settling their differences, than
of the righteousness of his cause. Indeed, as the
train sped southward, his busy mind sometimes
questioned if he had done right. If the North
and South were one people as he claimed, would
not neutrality have been the better course ?
Surely two brothers have the right to differ with-
out the whole family's putting in. Is the love of
country, which we call patriotism, a more com-
mendable trait than filial affection and obedience,
and can one deficient in the latter be fully capa-
ble of comprehending the former ? Had he not
by the very act of disobeying his father's wishes
and refuting his wisdom in a case where right
and wrong were so nearly related, demonstrated
his inability for a high devotion and obedience
132 THE FANATICS
to his country? These, and like sophistries,
raced through the young man's mind in the first
heat of his remorse, and for the time, he forgot
that his choice meant not less love for his father,
but a broader devotion to his country. It was
not for the sake of disobedience that he had cast
his lot with the North, but in pursuance of an
idea of a larger allegiance. But this he could
not see, and as he worried and speculated, his
When he reached Washington, he had antici-
pations of some difficulty in securing passage
through the lines. There was every possibility
of his being taken for a spy or an informer by one
side or the other, and the fact that he was a
lately mustered out soldier would make him an
object of suspicion to both Unionist and Confed-
erate. For the time being, his anxiety to be
away, across the Potomac and into Virginia
drove every other thought out of his head. For-
tunately for him, he was known in Washington,
and influential friends procured for him passes
through the Union lines. His progress, after he
reached the rebel outposts, was less speedy. But
foreseeing this, he conceived that discretion
would be the better part of valor, and so waited
for night, and then the laxity of the few pickets
scattered about helped him, and the stables of
Falls Church were kind to him, and within an
A JOURNEY SOUTH 133
hour after darkness had fallen, he was galloping
down the road towards Rockford.
The night was dark and the road none too
even, but he rode as speedily as caution would
allow. The way was unfamiliar to him, but he
followed the directions he had received, trusting
somewhat to the instincts of his horse to keep
the path. Now and then, as the animal's hoofs
clattered over the wooden bridge of river or
streamlet, he held his breath lest he should rouse
some lurking foeman. Once as he sped along a
road besides which the trees grew thickly, a
voice called to him to halt, but he only dug his
spurs into the mare's flank, and leaning low over
her neck, urged her on. Two shots spit vainly
in the darkness as the road fell away under his
" Suppose I should miss the path," he said to
himself, "and daylight find me still upon the
way? Well, it's only a thing to chance now,
and I must see father before he dies. I must see
him ! " The cry died away between clinched
teeth, and leap after leap, the blackness swal-
lowed him, and vomited him forth again. The
branches of the trees underneath which he passed,
reached out and caught at him as if they would
detain him from his errand. The wind and the
cricket and all the voices of the night called to
him. The horse stumbled and her rider lurched
134 THE FANATICS
forward, but the good steed was up and on again
with scarcely a break in her pace, as if she knew
that the man upon her back was crying in an
agony of fear, " Father, father, live till I come ! "
As the distance lessened, Walter's mind was
in a tumult of emotions. Again and again, the
picture of his father already dead came before
him. The white covering of the bed, the stark
form and the weeping women all were vivid to
him as actuality. He saw a light ahead of him,
and checking the speed of his horse, he rode to-
wards it. But he found that it came from a
house up one of two roads which forked before
him. He paused and looked helplessly at the
diverging paths. He knew there was no time to
be lost, and chafed at the delay. His indecision,
however, did not last long. He turned the ani-
mal's head up the road on which the light was
Proceeding cautiously, he found that the rays
which had guided him came from the curtained,
but unshuttered window of a little house stand-
ing back from the roadside, on a terrace. The
place itself, did not look formidable, but there
was no telling what elements of further delay
were behind the closed door. Nevertheless, he
reined in, and bringing his horse just inside the
side gateway, hastened up the terrace and knocked
at the door. There was the shuffling of feet
A JOURNEY SOUTH 135
within, and then the soft, swift scurrying as of
some one hastening from the room. A moment
later, the back door slammed, and a horse and
rider clattered around the side of the house and
out of the gate.
In spite of his haste and anxiety, "Walter could
but smile at the grim humor of the situation.
That he, who stood there on the threshold,
dreading what he should encounter beyond,
should prove a source of terror to any one
else, was but an illustration of the intermittent
comedy which treads upon the heels of tragedy
in the stern melodrama of war.
His reflections took but a moment ; all that
had passed, had hardly taken more time, but be-
fore the impressions were out of his mind, he
found himself again knocking at the door.
" "Who is there ? " came a woman's voice.
" A stranger, but a friend."
" How do I know that you are a friend ? "
" You need not know, you need not even open
the door, only answer my question. I am hunt-
ing the house of Colonel Stewart, and am not
sure that I am on the right road. Can you
direct me ? "
" You have missed your way," said the hidden
woman in a voice that bespoke relief from some
fear. " You should have taken the road to the
right at the forks. The house is about two miles
136 THE FANATICS
beyond on the right side. You can tell it with-
out trouble. It is a large house, and there will
be lights about it, for the colonel is very sick."
Walter did not wait to hear the woman's clos-
ing words, but with a hearty word of thanks,
hurried away towards the gate. He was almost
blithe with the thought that his journey would
soon be over, and hope rose again in his heart.
His father might be alive. He would be alive.
He must be. So he went from hope to certainty
as he passed with flying steps across the lawn
and terrace to the gate. There he stopped with
a gasp of alarm. His horse was no longer there.
Gone, and the distance between him and his
father lessened by many minutes when every
It all came to him in a flash. The frightened
rider who had dashed away from the house in a
flash, fearing pursuit, had taken the horse with
him, or the animal, itself, had become frightened
and followed involuntarily.
Walter halted hardly a moment, but turned
swiftly back to the house. To his knock, came
the woman's voice again in question.
" Some one has taken my horse," he cried.
" It is not so far to walk from here to Colonel
Stewart's," said the woman coldly.
" But I cannot walk, I am pressed for time."
" I do not know you," was the reply, " nor do
A JOUKNEY SOUTH 137
I know your business, but I warn you that I am
armed, and you had better go away."
" My God ! " cried Walter, " I mean you no
harm, but can't you help me to a horse, or must
I take one wherever I can find it ? I am
Colonel Stewart's son, and my father is dying.
I must see him." A dry sob broke in his
An exclamation was uttered from within.
Something that was very like the thud of a gun
butt sounded on the carpeted floor. The bolts
were shot and a woman stood in the flood of yel-
In the first instant, Walter saw the form of a
tall young woman with fair hair, and behind her,
the room disordered as by hasty movements. A
gun stood against the wall. Further details he
did not take note of.
"Come in for a moment," said the woman,
" you need have no fear. I can help you to a
horse." She was hastening into a wrap and hood
as she spoke. "We already know of you, my
brother and I ; you are Colonel Stewart's Union-
Walter flushed, but raised his head defiantly.
The young woman laughed as she hastened out
of the room and came back with a lantern and
key. " You need have no fear, there are no am-
bushes here. Come." She led the way around
138 THE FANATICS
the house, where Walter could see the low out-
lines of the outbuildings.
" You gave us quite a fright ; I may tell you,
now that I know who you are. Brother is sus-
pected of Unionist sentiments and has been look-
ing to be arrested every moment. To-night, we
took you for a Confederate officer, come to exer-
cise that unpleasant commission, and it was he
who must have frightened off your horse as he
rode away. He's on Blue Grass, and if your
horse keeps up with him, they're farther away
now than you would care to follow."
During the last words she was unlocking the
barn door. Then she handed the lantern to
Walter, and called softly, " Come, Beth, come."
A whinny answered her, and she went forward
and quickly took the halter from a sleek brown
mare. Walter started in to put the bridle on,
but the girl waved her hand.
" No," she said, " I'll do it myself. Beth is my
own particular pet, and is somewhat averse to
strangers. You'll have to ride bareback too, as
there isn't another man's saddle about. But
she'll carry you safe when she's once on the road,
and she'll turn in the right gate, for she knows
The young man was stammering his thanks as
the girl led the horse out. He would have walked
with her back to the house, but upon an assur-
A JOUENEY SOUTH 139
ance that she was not afraid, he leaped to the
mare's back and was off.
But it was not written that the object of his
heart should be so easily obtained. He had
scarcely gone half way to the crossroads, when
the ominous word, " Halt ! " sounded again in his
ears, and several mounted men rose as from the
road before him. Again, he gave spur to his
horse, but this time, it was only for a moment
that he moved, and then he came crash into an-
other horseman, and felt the cold muzzle of a
pistol pressed against his face, while a hand
seized his bridle.
" Steady, my boy, steady, unless you want to
get hurt. We don't want to do you any harm,
but you mustn't move."
" Are you hurt, sergeant ? " asked a voice from
" No, cap'n, not particular. I may be a little
strained, and this horse may be a little bruised
up, but I was ready for the shock. I knew the
youngster was game."
Just now the man addressed as captain rode
" Well, youngster," he said, " we've got a little
business with you, and I reckon we're just in
Walter's head was whirling with the shock of
his collision and he had a mean pain in the leg
140 THE FANATICS
that had struck the other man's saddle. But he
spoke up hotly.
" What's the meaning of this outrage ? " he
asked. " Cannot a man and a Virginian at that,
ride his own roads in safety by night and by
day ? "
"Hoity-toity, not so fast, my young Union
peacock, not so fast. Any Virginian may go his
way in Virginia until he becomes dangerous to
Virginia's cause. Then he comes with us as you
" What right have you to take me in this high-
handed way ? "
" We needn't bandy words, but I can say that
we have the right that any state has to arrest
within its borders any citizen who is suspected
of working or attempting to work against its
interest and safety. We have been watching you
for a long time, Etheridge, and we know what
your plans are."
They had been standing for the few moments
that they talked, but now the company started
to move off.
" Stop," cried Walter, as the name was called,
" whom do you take me for ? "
"We know who you are," said the captain
" But my name is not Etheridge, you are mis-
A JOUENEY SOUTH 141
" What is this, sergeant ? " asked the officer in
charge of the party and who had done most of
" I know the horse, captain, it's his sister's."
" Come on, then, don't delay any further. It's
no use denying your identity."
" But I can prove to you that I'm not the man
you're seeking, nor is this horse mine. Having
lost my own, I borrowed it at a house a little
way up the road here."
" A very likely story."
"But if there is any one here who knows
Etheridge, let him look at me and see."
The sergeant leaned forward and striking a
match looked into Walter's face.
"Whew, captain," he whistled, "it's true,
we've caught the wrong bird. This is not Nel-
son Etheridge. He's a stranger."
" Well, who the devil are you ? " asked the
captain shortly. " Strangers without credentials
are not very welcome about here these times."
"My name is Walter Stewart, and my father
is Colonel Stewart who lives about two miles
" Stewart — Walter Stewart, hurrah, boys ! "
cried the captain, " we've lost one good bird but
caged another ! This is Colonel Stewart's
Yankee soldier son. You'll do, come on."
" But, captain, I'm not in the service now, and
142 THE FANATICS
my father is dying. A few minutes' delay may
keep me from ever seeing him alive."
" I am sorry," was the captain's reply, " but
you have been a Union soldier. We take you
leaving a suspected house, and find you as you
tacitly admit within our lines and without cre-
dentials. It may be hard for you, but you are our
" Yery well, but cannot I be paroled at once ?
If necessary, send a soldier with me to my house,
and keep me under guard."
The captain halted. " I know your father," he
said coldly, "and he is a brave man and a South-
ern gentleman who has not forsaken the South.
For his sake, I will do as you say, even though I
exceed my authority. I will send two men with
you. You will remain under guard until I secure
your parole, if that may be done."
" I thank you," said Walter.
" Sergeant Davis ! " The sergeant saluted.
" You and Private Wilkins will take charge of
the prisoner. When his parole has been secured,
you will be relieved. Until then, the closest
" I am a soldier and a gentleman," said Walter
The officer vouchsafed no answer, but with his
remaining associates spurred on into the darkness,
leaving the prisoner to ride away with his captors.
A STEWAET COMES TO HIS OWN
As Walter approached his father's house, he
saw lights moving about in the upper chambers,
and he began to fear the worst.
" Have you heard any news of my father ? "
he asked the sergeant.
"None, except that he is a pretty sick man
and not expected to last long."
" How did. the captain and all of you come to
know about me ? "
" The servants will talk and it's few family
secrets they don't know and tell. Your father
invested in some niggers as soon as he got here
in order to show his contempt for the Yankees'
invasion, but they're too new to have any of the
family pride that the old ones used to have.
Why an old family servant would rather die
than tell any of the happenings at the big house,
but these darkies of your father's have blown his
Walter shivered at the man's tone and his
144 THE FANATICS
In order not to alarm the house unduly they
dismounted at the gate and left the private to
lead the horses around to the stables while the
sergeant went with Walter. Their ring brought
a servant to the door, who stood in white-eyed
astonishment as he saw the young man, worn
and haggard with anxiety and beside him, an
officer in grey.
" Wy> w'y, gent'men, dis hyeah's a confede'ate
" Shut up and let us in. Make as little stir as
possible, and bring my mother to the parlor.
Sergeant, this will be a family meeting."
" You know my orders, sir."
"I do, and I am enough of a soldier not to
want you to disobey them ; but I prefer seeing
my family alone. Examine the room where I
shall talk with my mother, and have the places
of egress guarded. I think the windows let out
on a veranda."
" There may be more than one outlet, and I
have not enough men to guard them if there is."
" You forget, sergeant," said Walter haughtily,
" that I am a soldier and a gentleman."
"I'm not much of either yet," returned the
non-commissioned officer calmly, " but I'm learn-
ing enough of a soldier's business to know how
to obey orders."
" You are right," said the younger man blush-
A STEWAKT COMES TO HIS OWN 145
ing. "Come, let's examine the room together
and see what dispositions we can make."
At this period, Private Wilkins came in from
his errand. They stationed him outside and
passed into the room. It was a large apartment,
with three long windows, opening, as Walter had
surmised, on the veranda.
" You see," pursued the sergeant, " it's just as
I said. You have too many places by which to
leave, though I do not doubt your honor."
" Let us see," said Walter going to the door.
" Ah, this will serve you," and he held up a key.
" Lock this door that shuts off one outlet. One
of you patrol the veranda and the other hold
the hall. Will that suit you ? "
" Perfectly." And the sergeant proceeded to
do as directed. He stationed Wilkins in the
hall, and then as he was about to step out upon
the veranda, turned, and on a sudden impulse,
saluted the young private as if he were an officer.
He had hardly left the room, when Mrs.
Stewart came rushing in.
" Walter, Walter, my boy ! "
" Dear little mother."
" Oh, you are well, you are well, aren't you ? "
"In body, yes, mother, but — but — am I in
time ? "
" Thank God, yes."
The young man bowed his head and the ges-
146 THE FANATICS
ture itself, was a prayer of thanksgiving that God
" I have so much that I want to say to you,
mother, but take me to him at once. I am
afraid that it will be too late. You shall have a
talk with me afterwards." He put his arm af-
fectionately about his mother's waist.
" Wait a moment, Walter," she said. " He is
yet conscious. Oh, Walter, Walter, humor him,
humor him in his dying moments. Promise,
whatever he asks."
" Whatever he asks ? Why, what can he ask ? "
"Perhaps one great thing. Your father has
not changed, even in the hands of death."
" I shall promise what I can without lying."
(i If necessary, my son, lie, to ease your father's
heart. Have I ever given you such advice be-
fore ? Will you do it ? "
He looked at her fondly for a moment, and
then answered firmly, "I will lie, if need be.
Take me to him."
They started out but Walter turned back to
call the sergeant.
" I am going to my father's room," he said.
" I will come as far as the door," he said, " for
the rest, I leave that to you. Go on."
As they passed up the broad steps, Mrs. Stewart
asked in some agitation, "What does the pres-
ence of those soldiers mean ? "
A STEWAKT COMES TO HIS OWN 147
"Don't disturb yourself, mother, but I was
taken on the way here after I had passed the reb
— the Confederate lines, and I am a prisoner."
She grasped him by the arm. " A prisoner ? "
"Don't be alarmed," he went on soothingly,
" I shall be paroled, the captain has as good
as promised it, and then I shall be here with
" That is almost good," she replied, " and you
will have less to promise."
The light was turned low in the sick room, and
a nurse glided out as they entered. Walter's
sister passed out also, and in passing pressed his
Mrs. Stewart left her son at the door and went
forward to the bed, a shadowy, gliding form in
the dim room.
" Here is Walter," she said softly.
The sick man opened his eyes, and said
weakly, but with some of his old coldness,
" Eaise the light, and let me see him."
" Father ! " the boy stood over the bed.
The eyes that even then death was glazing,
grew brighter as the colonel looked upon his son,
but the words that he whispered huskily were,
" Thank God, he does not wear their uniform.
Walter ! "
The young man threw his arms about his
148 THE FANATICS
father and held him close to his heaving breast.
His eyes were tearless, but his bronzed face was
pale and his throat throbbed convulsively.
" Father, I am so sorry to have grieved you, so
" You're a Stewart," said the old man weakly,
but dotingly. " They always were — they always
were strong-headed. But you won't go back to
them, will you, Walter ? Will you ? For your
father's sake, for the sake of Virginia, you won't
go back to the — Yankees ? "
" I cannot lie to you, father, now," the filming
eye formed a new light, and his mother started
" I could not go back to them if I would. I
was taken on the way here, and am a prisoner in
the hands of our own people."
The old man settled back with a glad sigh.
" This is very good," he said, " very good. They
can never have your services again. Better a
prisoner in the camp of our people — our people
— you said, Walter, than a general of those —
aliens. JSIow I am content."
" Would you not better rest now ? " asked his
" Yes, yes, I will rest," and he relaxed again
upon his pillow.
Walter was easing his arms from underneath
A STEWAET COMES TO HIS OWN 149
the grey head, when the muscles of the dying
man took on strength again. His eyes opened.
" Would you," he said almost fiercely, " would
you go back to them again if you could ? "
Walter cast one agonizing look at his mother's
appealing eyes, then he answered firmly, " No,
father, not if I could."
His father smiled. " I knew it," he murmured.
" He is a Stewart, and a Stewart must come back
to his own. Now I shall rest."
He sank into a soft slumber, and mother and
son left the room on tiptoe.
" Come, you will go and see Emily now," said
" Let them come to my room," he said, " wher-
ever you have placed me. We must make it as
easy for Sergeant Davis as possible."
The morrow proved that the colonel had been
right. He had rested, and the rest was one that
should be eternally unbroken.
As soon as he found that the home was a place
of death and mourning, the sergeant, be it said
to his credit, relaxed some of his vigilance, and
Walter was allowed to attend to the duties con-
nected with his father's funeral with greater
freedom. The same day, his parole was granted,
and the house given over again to privacy.
In spite of a natural sorrow for his father's
loss, Walter felt a sense of peace, even joy, at
150 THE FANATICS
the reconciliation. The words, "Now I shall
rest," rang in his head with soothing cadence.
It was so much better this way than that his
father should have gone from him in anger and
The joy Walter felt in coming back into the
family circle proved how much his heart must
have been hungering for it. Drawn by a strong
enthusiasm for what he deemed the right, he had
gone off into the wilderness to face death. But
he had not ceased to look back with longing
eyes towards the fiesh-pots of Egypt. Being back
to them, he was not prone to question why he
came. The fact in itself, was sufficiently preg-
nant of content. Somehow, he did not feel
ashamed of the satisfaction he felt in having the
parole solve a vexing problem. He had lied to
his father, had he not, in saying that he would
not go back if he could ? And then, he began to
quibble with himself. Had he lied, after all?
Was it not merely the premature assertion of a
condition of mind that was to be ? Would he go
back if he could ? He was not sure. His father
had called him a Stewart, and that meant much.
It was sweet to be there, with his own family, in
the great old place. Going to the window, his
eyes swept the surrounding landscape with rest-
There was the broad sweep of lawn, and across
A STEWART COMES TO HIS OWN 151
that, rugged against the sky, the dark row of
outbuildings, the kitchen, the stables and the
negro cabins, and beyond that, the woods. It
was fine and manorial, and appealed to the some-
thing in Walter which is in every Anglo-Saxon,
the love of pomp and circumstance and power.
After all, it was for this he had been dragged
from the camp and from the hardships of war,
and was it not a pleasant change ? Fate had
been kind to him. There were many young
fellows who would envy him, so why should he
While he was still in the midst of his medita-
tions, his mother came into the room.
" Brooding again ? " she said. " You must not
do this, my son."
He blushed and raised his hand in protest, but
his mother went on, " I know you were influenced
by a strong principle, my son, a principle so
deeply rooted that you were willing to give up
everything for it, and you are longing to be back
again. But yours are, after all, only the common
fortunes of war."
The young man's face was burning, and all the
thoughts that had just passed through his mind
came surging back in an accusing flood. He saw
that he had weakened on the side of his affec-
tions, and that for a little while he had put home
and ease and mother-love before the cause for
152 THE FANATICS
which he had once been so hot. His shame
seethed in his face.
" You know what I told father," he said, " that
I would not go back if I could ? "
" Yes, yes, I know, and I understand what the
falsehood cost you, but weighed against what it
brought to your father and me, it seems justifi-
able. Why, Walter, don't you see that even a
lie that softens a father's deathbed is a noble
sacrifice ? "
" I should feel the better if it were that
way, but it is not a lie. It is coming to be
" Your heart is really coming over to the
" Not to the South so much as to you and
Emily and home and father's memory."
" Walter, Walter," she cried, embracing him,
" this is nothing to hang your head about ; this
is true nobility ! "
Her mother-love blinded her sight to his moral
defection, but he saw and saw clearly, and was
" It is strange," Mrs. Stewart mused, " how
things have balanced. If the South has gained an
adherent in you, the North has just taken one of
Virginia's own sons."
" What do you mean ? "
" The news came to us this morning that Nel-
A STEWAKT COMES TO HIS OWN 153
son Etheridge has not returned, but has gone over
to the Union lines."
" How do you know that ? " cried Walter,
" We sent Caesar with the horse this morning."
" Oh, I wanted to take it over myself and
thank Miss Etheridge in person."
" You will have many chances to thank her,"
said his mother. "She is a great friend of
Emily's and is often here."
" I am very glad," he stammered, " that is, on
When his mother left him, he too, went from
the room, and sought the room where his father
lay. He drew back the cloth and looked at the
calm face, as stern and white as a figure in mar-
ble. Even in death, the lips had found their old
line of compression, and the chin had not lost its
" Oh, my father," said Walter, " I am a
weaker man than you, but I am more your son
than I knew." He replaced the cloth and went
The funeral of Colonel Stewart was a piteous
affair. The remnants of the families about came
to pay their respects to the dead. But mostly,
they were women or old men. The army had
taken the rest. The clergyman who conducted
the services wore the grey under his gown, and
154 THE FANATICS
as soon as his work was done, left his vestments
and rode back to the regiment of which he was
People looked askance at Walter or did not
look at him at all. To them, he had the shame
of being a Unionist on parole, but within him
there was a greater shame — that he was neither
with them nor against them.
It was now that a new unpleasantness began
to harass the already burdened people of Ohio.
The decree of General Butler making all slaves
who came into camp contraband of war, affected
the negroes not only in his immediate vicinity,
but wherever there was a Union camp. Drunk
with the dream of freedom, at the first intimation
of immunity, they hastened to throw off their
shackles and strike for the long-coveted liberty.
Women, children, young, able-bodied men and
the feeble and infirm, all hastened towards
the Union lines. Thence, it was usually an easy
matter, or at least, one possible of accomplish-
ment, to work their way North to the free
Hardly a camp, hardly a column in which the
officers were not reputed vigorously to oppose
the admission of slaves but presented a strange
and varied appearance. In the rear, but keeping
close to their saviors always, straggled a lot of
half-clad, eager negroes of all ages and conditions,
156 THE FANATICS
bearing every conceivable form of movable
property — bags, bundles, bedclothes, cooking
utensils, and even an occasional calf or sheep
trailed along. Many, indeed, found employment
as the servants of officers, where their traditional
qualifications as cooks or valets came into full
play. But for the most part, they simply hung
on, worrying and embarrassing the soldiers with
their importunities, sickening and dying from
fatigue and exposure, and conducting themselves
altogether, like the great, helpless, irresponsible
children that they were.
To those, who only a few years ago, primed
with the prejudices of their masters, had looked
upon the Yankees as monsters, there had come a
great change, and every man who wore the blue
had become as God's own vicegerent. They had
been told that the Yankees had horns, and many
of them believed it, but on contact, the only horn
that they had found was the horn of plenty, and
their old faith in their masters' infallibility died.
They were not all a burden, though. In the
gloom of the dark hours, their light-heartedness
cheered on the march ; their pranks, their hymns
and their ditties made life and light. Through
the still watches of the night, the lonely sentinel
on his beat, heard their singing and sometimes
he thought of home with a choking at his throat,
and had a vision of a tender mother singing to
THE CONTRABANDS 157
the babe upon her breast, and he looked up to
the stars, and was alone no more.
The poor blacks, wandering in the darkness of
their ignorance were as frightened children in the
night. They had lost faith in their masters, but
it was not lost to them entire, only transferred
to these new beings, who mastered them by the
power of love. Is it any wonder that they
shouted and sang, and that often their songs
were " Out of Old Egypt," " De Promised Lan',"
and " Go Down Moses " ?
One of the principal songs they sang, ran thus,
a low minor melody at first, then breaking in
the improvisation into a joyous shout :
11 In Egypt I sang a moun'ful song,
Oh, Lawd, de life was ha'd;
Dey said yo' bondage won't be long,
Oh, Lawd, de life was ha'd.
Dey preached an' dey prayed, but de time went on,
Oh, Lawd, de life was ha'd;
De night was black w'en dey talked of dawn,
Oh, Lawd, de life was ha'd:
We fought 'twas day in de lightin' flash,
Oh, Lawd, de life was ha'd,
But night come down wid de mastah's lash,
Oh, Lawd, de life was ha'd."
And, then, some clear voice would break into
" But de Yankees come and dey set us free,
T'ank Gawd, hit's bettah now,
158 THE FANATICS
De Yankee man is de man fu' me,
T'ank Gawd, hit's bettah now —
He gi' me braid an' he gi' me meat,
T'ank Gawd, hit's bettah now,
Eatin' nevah did seem so sweet,
T'ank Gawd, hit's bettah now."
For them it was better now, though they toiled
and struggled and fell by the wayside. The ab-
stract idea of freedom which they did not yet
understand, had become a fetich to them. And
over the burning sands, or through the winter's
snow where they trudged with bleeding feet,
they kept their stalwart faith in it. They were
free at last, and being free, no evil thing could
It was strange that most of them should not
have become discouraged and gone back to the
fleshpots still in Egypt. The Union officers did
not understand these great children who flocked
so insistently about their heels. Some were
harsh to them, and others who would have been
kind, did not know how. But they staid on and
on, clinging to the garments of the army, going
from camp to camp, until they swept like a plague
of locusts into some Northern town.
Ohio, placed as she was, just on the border of
the slave territory, was getting more than her
share of this unwelcome population, and her
white citizens soon began to chafe at it. Was
THE CONTKABAJSTDS 159
their free soil to become the haven for escaped
negroes ? Was this to be the stopping ground
for every runaway black from the South ? Would
they not become a menace to the public safety ?
Would they not become a public charge and
sorely strain that generosity that was needed to
encourage and aid the soldiers in the field?
These and a thousand such conjectures and ques-
tions were rife about the hapless blacks. The
whole gamut of argument that had been used in
'49, '50 and '51 was run again. The menace of
Maryland with her free negroes was again held
up. The cry rose for the enforcement of the
law for the restriction of emancipated negroes,
while others went to the extreme of crying for
the expulsion of all blacks from the state.
Since 1829, there had been a gradual change
for the better in the attitude of Ohio towards
her colored citizens, but now, all over the state,
and especially in the southern counties and towns
there had come a sudden revulsion of feeling,
and the people rose generally against the possi-
bility of being overwhelmed by an influx of run-
away slaves. Their temper grew and ominous
mutterings were heard on every side. The first
great outburst of popular wrath came when
negro men began offering themselves for mili-
tary service, and some extremists urged the
policy of accepting them.
160 THE FANATICS
"Take them," said the extremists, "and you
break the backbone of the South's power. While
the Southern men are in the field, fighting against
the government their negro slaves are at home
raising supplies for them, and caring for their
families. When we enlist them, whom have
they to leave for such duties ? "
But all the North held up its hands and cried,
" What, put black men beside our boys to fight ?
Let slaves share with them the honor and glory
of military service ? Never ! "
The army itself hurled back its protest, " We
are fighting for the Union ; we are not fighting
for niggers, and we will not fight with them."
From none of the states came a more pro-
nounced refusal than from Ohio. She had set
her face against men of color. What wonder
then, that their coming into the state aroused all
her antagonistic blood ? Here, for the time, all
party lines fell away, and all the people were
united in one cause — resistance to the invasion
of the black horde. It was at this time that
Butler's proclamation struck through the turmoil
like a thunderbolt, and the word " Contraband "
became a menace to the whites and a reproach
to the blacks.
The free blacks of Dorbury themselves, took it
up, and even before they could pronounce the
word that disgusted them, they were fighting
THE CONTRABANDS 161
their unfortunate brothers of the South as vigor-
ously as their white neighbors. " Contraband "
became the fighting banter for black people in
Ohio. But the stream kept pouring in. In spite
of resistance, abuse and oppression, there was a
certain calm determination about these fugitive
slaves that was of the stuff that made the Puri-
tans. As far North as Oberlin and Cleveland,
they did not often make their way. If it was
their intention to stop in Ohio at all, they usually
ended their journey at the more Southern towns.
"While the spirit in the Northern towns was
calmer, it was, perhaps, just as well that they
were not overrun. In Cleveland, especially, nu-
merous masters of the south, averse to making
slaves of their own offspring, had colonized their
discarded negro mistresses and their illegitimate
offspring, and these people, blinded by God knows
what idea of their own position, in the eyes of
the world, had made an aristocracy of their own
In Dorbury, the negro aristocracy was not one
founded upon mixed blood, but upon free birth
or manumission before the war. Even the
church, whose broad wings are supposed to cover
all sorts and conditions of men, turned its face
against the poor children of a later bondage.
After much difficulty, the negro contingent in
Dorbury had succeeded in establishing a small
162 THE FANATICS
house of worship in an isolated section known as
" the commons." Here, according to their own
views, they met Sunday after Sunday to give
praise and adoration to the God whom they, as
well as the whites, claimed as theirs, and hither,
impelled by the religious instincts of their race,
came the contrabands on reaching the town. But
were they received with open arms ? No, the
God that fostered black and white alike, rich and
poor, was not known to father these poor fugi-
tives, so lately out of bondage. The holy portals
were closed in their faces, and dark-skinned pas-
tors, not yet able to put the " H " in the educa-
tional shibboleth, drew aside their robes as they
Opposition was even expressed to their fellow-
ship with the Christian body. It reached its
height when, on a memorable Sunday — a quar-
terly meeting day in fact, three families of the
despised, presented themselves for membership
in the Wesley an chapel. The spirit had been
running high that day, and there had been much
shouting and praising the Lord for his goodness.
But at this act of innocent audacity, the whole
tone of the meeting changed. From violent joy,
it became one of equally violent anger and con-
tempt. These outcast families seeking God, had
stepped upon the purple robes of these black aris-
tocrats, and they were as one for defiance.
THE CONTKABANDS 163
One aged woman, trembling with anger and
religious excitement, tottered up, and, starting
for the door, hurled this brief condemnation of
the culprits who dared desire membership in her
church : " Wy, befo' I'd see dis chu'ch, dis chu'ch
dat we free people built give up to dese conter-
bands, I'd see hit to' down, brick by brick."
She hurried down the stairs, and a number fol-
lowed her. But some stayed to remonstrate with
the unreasoning contrabands. They were told
to form a church of their own and to worship to-
" But," said their spokesman, who had preached
down on the plantation, " why n't we jes' ez well
wo'ship wid you ? We's all colo'ed togethah."
The pastor tried in vain to show them the dif-
ference between people who had been freed three
or four years before and those just made free, but
somehow, the contraband and none of his com-
pany could see it, and the meeting was broken up.
The rejected Christians, seeking their poor shan-
ties in amazement, and the aristocrats gathering
to talk among themselves over the invasion of
With both white and black against them, it
could not be long before the bad feeling against
these poor people must break out into open at-
tack. Theirs was a helpless condition, but they
were not entirely alone. In all the town, they
164 THE FANATICS
had no stronger friend than Stephen Yan Doren.
A Southerner by birth and education, he under-
stood these people, who had for two centuries
been the particular wards of the South. While
he had no faith in the ultimate success of the
Union arms, and believed that all these blacks
must eventually go back into slavery whence they
had come, yet he reasoned that they were there,
and such being the case, all that was possible,
ought to be done for them.
The negroes were quick to recognize a friend,
and his house soon became the court to which
they took all their grievances. He had been
keeping indoors, but now he began to circulate
among his Southern friends, and to do what he
could to help his poor proteges.
It was then that the first inklings of a contem-
plated attack upon them came to his ears. Some
of the citizens of Dorbury, inspired by the public
spirit which barroom speeches arouse, had de-
termined to rise and throw off the stigma of ne-
gro invasion. The embers of the people's passions
had long smouldered, and when a pseudo-poli-
tician in the glow of drink had advised them to
rise and drive the black plague beyond their
borders, they had determined to do so.
The conduct of the whole matter had been put
into the hands of Eaymond Stothard, for the
politician declined to lead such an assault, upon
THE CONTKABANDS 165
the plea that it was hardly the proper thing for
a man who aspired to the legislature.
Stothard was chosen, first, because he was the
brother of the prosecuting attorney, which would
give the movement prestige, and next, because he
was capable of doing anything when he was
drunk. He usually was drunk or becoming so.
He was drunk when he made the speech which
instantly made him the leader of the aggressive
" Gen'lemen," he said, " you all know me, and
you know that I ain't the man to try to lead you
into an unjust fight, now am I ? " He was al-
most plaintive and the crowd about him cried,
" No, no ! "
" Thank you," he went on, swaying at his
table. " Thanks, I'm glad to see that you per —
preciate my motives. You all know my brother,
he's a straight — straight man, ain't he ? You all
know Philip Stothard. JSTow I'm a peaceable
man, I am. But to-night, I say our rights and
liberties are being invaded, that's what they are.
All the niggers in the South are crowding in
on us, and pretty soon, we won't have a place to
lay our heads. They'll undercharge the laborer
and drive him out of house and home. They
will live on leavings, and the men who are eat-
ing white bread and butter will have to get down
to the level of these black hounds.
166 THE FANATICS
" I don't like 'em, anyhow. None of us like
'em. The whole war is on their account. If it
hadn't been for them, we'd have been friends
with the South to-day, but they've estranged us
from our brothers, rent the country asunder, and
now they're coming up here to crowd us out of
our towns. Gentlemen, I won't say any more.
It shall never be said that Ray Stothard was in-
strumental in beginning a revolt against law and
order. My brother's prosecuting attorney, you
know, and we stand for the integrity of the law.
But if I had my way, I'd take force, and clear
this town of every nigger in it. Gentlemen, drink
His final remark was the most eloquent plea
he could have made. The gentlemen drank with
Mr. Stothard and voted his plan for saving their
homes and workshops a good one.
One man in passing had heard the sound of
speechmaking within, and out of idle curiosity
had paused at the saloon door in time to hear
Stothard's stirring remarks. Stephen Yan Doren
listened with horror to what the drunken rowdy
proposed, and then went with all speed to his
" You're too sensible a man, Yan Doren," said
the prosecuting attorney, " to believe that I have
anything to do with this matter or would coun-
tenance it. But I can do nothing whatever with
THE COOTKABANDS 167
this brother of mine ; there is only one thing to
do, and that is to warn the negroes."
" They are not used to fighting for themselves.
They would be as helpless as children and could
be killed like sheep in a pen."
" They have their freedom, taken as you and I
both believe, illegally, let them rise to the occa-
sion which liberty demands," and so the lawyer
dismissed the subject, although Van Doren gave
back the answer that what these blacks had to
meet was not the result of liberty, but the
mockery of it.
Leaving Philip Stothard's house, Stephen Yan
Doren went his way, torn between conflicting
opinions as to his duty. "Would he be proving a
traitor to his fellow-citizens if he told the ne-
groes of the designs against them? But were
these men of the lowest social stratum, loafers,
ignoramuses and fanatics his fellow-citizens ?
Was it not right that these poor fellows, slaves
as they had been, and would be again doubtless,
should be allowed the chance of defending them-
selves against assault ? He argued with himself
long and deeply that night, and in the end he de-
cided that the blacks must be warned. He did
not know when the attack would take place.
Indeed, he felt sure that it would wait upon in-
spiration and opportunity, but the intended
victims could be put upon their guard and then
168 THE FANATICS
be left to look out themselves. He could do no
more. Perhaps he had already done too much.
On the morrow, he saw some of the blacks,
and after cautioning them to secrecy as to what
they should hear, told them of their danger.
They heard him with horror and lamentation
They were bitterly disappointed. Was this the
freedom for which they had toiled ? Was this the
welcome they received from a free state ? They
already knew how the church had greeted them.
But they were the more shocked because they
found out for the first time that politics could be
as hard as religion.
One advantage which the negroes were to
have was that in the sudden passion against their
race the whites made no distinction as to bond
or free, manumitted or contraband. This, of
necessity, drew them all together, and they grew
closer to each other in sympathy than they had
The drawing together was not one of spirit
only, but of fact. They began to have meetings
at night after the warning, and a code of signals
was arranged to call all of them together at the
first sign of danger.
Meanwhile, Stothard and his confederates, be-
lieving that all their workings had been done in
profoundest secrecy, only waited an opportunity
to strike effectively and finally.
THE CONTRABANDS 169
The leader's first open act occurred one day
when he seemed to have found an audience of
sympathizers. He was strolling along busy with
his usual employment of doing nothing, when he
noticed a crowd gathered at a point upon the
street that led from the railway station. He
sauntered towards it, but quickened his pace when
he found that the centre of the group was a
small family of black folk who had just arrived
from some place south of the river. There were
a father and mother, both verging on old age, a
stalwart, strong-limbed son, apparently about
twenty, and two younger children. They were
all ragged, barefoot and unkempt. They had
paused to inquire the way to the negro portion
of the town, and immediately the people, some
with animosity, some with amusement, had
gathered around them.
" What's all this ? " asked the attorney's
brother, as he reached the group. None of the
whites vouchsafed him an answer, and he turned
his attention to the negroes.
" More niggers," he exclaimed. " Why in hell
don't you people stay where you belong ? "
The blacks eyed him in silence.
" Why don't you answer when I talk to you ? "
He took a step forward, and the outcasts cowered
before him, all save the son. He did not move a
step and there was a light in his eye that was
170 THE FANATICS
not good to see. It was the glare of an animal
brought to bay. Stothard saw it and advanced
no further, but went on.
"If I had you across the line, I'd teach you
manners." The old woman began to cry.
"We come up hyeah," said the young negro,
" 'cause we hyeahed it was a free state."
" It's free for white people, not for niggers."
" We hyeahed it was free fu' evahbody, dat's
de reason we come, me an' mammy an' pappy
an' de chillun. We ain't a bothahin' nobody.
We jes' wants to fin' some of ouah own people."
" There's enough of your people here now, and
too many, and we don't want any more. You'd
better go back where you come from."
" We cain't go back thaih. Hit's been a long
ways a comin', an' we's 'bout wo' out."
" That's none of our business ; back you go.
Gentlemen, unless we put our foot down now,
we shall be overrun by these people. I call you
to act now. Turn them back at the portals of
the city. Ohio as a state and Dorbury as a town
does not want these vagabonds."
Unseen by Stothard, another man attracted by
the gathering had joined the crowd, and now his
voice broke the silence. " Who made you, Ray
Stothard, the spokesman for the people of
The aristocratic loafer turned to meet the eye
THE CONTRABANDS 171
of Stephen Van Doren, and his face went red in
" I don't know what right you've got to speak,
Yan Doren, you've done everything you could to
hurt the Union."
" It is to the Union's greatest discredit that it
has such men as you on its side."
" So you're in favor of letting the niggers over-
run the town ? "
" I'm in favor of fair play, and I intend to help
these people find their fellows."
" Humph, what are you anyhow ? First a
copperhead, then a rebel, then the champion of
contrabands. You're neither fish, flesh, fowl nor
good red herring."
" Whatever I may be, I'm not a conspirator."
Stothard blanched at the word. "Nor," went
on the old man, "am I a barroom orator and
leader of ruffians. Come, boys," he said address-
ing the negroes, and they grinned broadly and
hopefully at the familiar conduct and manner of
address of the South which they knew and loved.
Away they went behind Yan Doren.
" Go on, Steve Yan Doren," Stothard crowed
after the old man like a vanquished cock. " But
you may have more work to do before you get
through with your nigger pets."
" All right," was the sturdy answer. " When-
ever you and your hounds come for me, you'll
172 THE FANATICS
find me waiting, and by heaven, you'll leave me
weightier men by a few ounces than you've ever
The younger man attempted to raise a jeer as
the other man passed down the street. But the
crowd refused to join him. There was something
too majestic in the carriage of the old copper-
head. He commanded an inevitable, if reluctant
respect. The same independent habit of thought
and sturdy disregard of consequences that made
him a copperhead, made him a friend to these
poor helpless blacks.
Stothard, however, was not done. He was in-
flamed with anger at his defeat and the shame
put upon him. He hurriedly left the crowd, and
went at once to the rendezvous of his confeder-
ates. All that day and night he harangued
them as they came in one by one, setting before
them the alleged dangers of the case, and paint-
ing the affair of the afternoon in lurid colors.
By midnight, drunken men who mistook intoxi-
cation for patriotism, talked solemnly to each
other of the " Black invasion," and shook hands
in the unity of determination to resent this at-
tack upon the dignity of the state.
All the next day there was an ominous quiet
in Dorbury. Men who had no other occupation
than lounging about the courthouse corner and
in the barrooms were not to be seen. There
THE CONTRABANDS 173
were no violent harangues in the livery stables
and groceries. Mr. Raymond Stothard was not
About dusk the clans began to gather. One
by one they came from their holes and hiding-
places and made their way to the rendezvous.
Over their drinks, they talked in whispers and
the gaslight flared on drawn, swollen, terrible
faces. Their general had found the wherewithal
to buy liquor and he plied them well.
Meanwhile on old McLean street, where stood
the house of one of Dorbury's free black citi-
zens another gathering equally silent, equally
stealthy and determined was taking place. The
signal had gone forth, the warning had been re-
ceived and free negro and contraband were
drawing together for mutual protection. Not a
word was spoken among them. It was not the
time for talk. But they huddled together in the
half -lit room and only their hard, labored breath-
ing broke the silence. To the freemen, it meant
the maintenance of all that they had won by
quiet industry. To the contrabands, it meant
the life or death of all their hopes of manhood.
Now all artificial lines were broken down, and
all of them were brothers by the tie of necessity.
Contraband and the man who a few days ago
had looked down upon him with supreme con-
tempt, now pressed shoulder to shoulder a com-
174 THE FANATICS
mon grejness in their faces, the same black dread
in their hearts. In the back room sick with
fear, waited the women and children. Upon the
issue of the night depended all that they had
prayed for. Was it to be peace and home or
exile and slavery ? Their mother hearts yearned
over the children who clustered helpless about
their feet. " If not for us, God, for these, our
little ones," they prayed. Their minds went
back to the plantation, its pleasures and its pains.
They remembered all. There had been the
dances and the frolics, and the meetings, but
these paled into insignificance before the memory
of the field, the overseer and the lash. Often,
oh, too often, they had bared their backs to the
cruel thongs. Day by day they had toiled and
sweated under the relentless sun. But must
these, the products of their poor bodies, do like-
wise ? Must they too, toil without respite, and
labor without reward ? They clasped their
children in their arms with a hopelessness that
was almost aggression.
The little black babies that night did not
know why their mothers hugged them with such
terrible intensity or hushed them with such fierce
tenderness when they cried.
It was nearly midnight when the whisper ran
round the circle in the front room, " They are
coming, they are coming ! " and the men drew
THE CONTRABANDS 175
themselves closer together. The sound of the
shuffling of many feet and the noisy song of a
drunken mob awoke the echoes of the quiet
street. Then, of a sudden, the songs ceased as if
some authoritative voice had compelled silence.
Nearer and nearer moved the feet, softer now,
but with drunken uncertainty. They paused at
the gate. The lock , clicked. The men within
the room were tense as bended steel. Then
came a thunderous knock at the door. No
There was a pause, and apparently a silent
conference. The rioters had sought several other
suspected houses, the chapel among them, and
found them empty. Here then, was the place
which they had definitely settled as the negroes'
" Open in the name of the law," came a voice.
The blacks huddled closer together. Then
came a blow upon the door as from the stock of
" Gently," said the voice, " gently." But the
spirit of violence having once been given rein
could not be controlled, and blow after blow
rained upon the none too strong door, until it
yielded and fell in with a crash. But here, the
mob found themselves confronted by a surprise.
Instead of a cowering crowd of helpless men,
they found themselves confronted by a solid
176 THE FANATICS
black wall of desperate men who stood their
ground and fought like soldiers. At first, it was
fist, stave, club and the swift, silent knife, and
only the gasp of forced breath and the groan of
some fallen man told that the terrible fight went
on. Then a solitary shot rang out, and the fusil-
lade began. The blacks began to retreat, be-
cause they had few weapons, putting their
women-folks behind them. Gradually, the white
horde poured into the room and filled it.
" JSow, boys," said Stothard's voice from the
rear, " rush them ! " and he sprang forward. But
a black face confronted him, its features distorted
and its eyes blazing. It was the face of the con-
traband boy whom he had abused the day be-
fore. A knife flashed in the dim light, and in a
moment more was buried in the leader's heart.
The shriek, half of fear, half of surprise which
was on his lips, died there, and he fell forward
with a groan, while the black man sped from the
room. The wild-eyed boy who went out into
the night to be lost forever, killed Stothard, not
because he was fighting for a principle, but be-
cause the white man had made his mother cry
the day before. His ideas were still primitive.
The rout of the negroes was now complete,
and they fled in all directions. Some ran away,
only to return when the storm had passed ;
others, terrified by the horror of the night, went,
THE COOTBABANDS 177
never to return, and their homes are occupied in
Dorbury to-day by the men who drove them
The whites, too, had had enough, and their
leader being killed, they slunk away with his
body into the night which befriended them.
LICENSE OE LIBERTY
In the days that ensued after the mustering
out of Tom's regiment neither he nor Dorbury
had time for idleness. The events attending the
conflict both in the field and at home had fol-
lowed each other too swiftly for that. Tom
had found military service under the government
in a capacity that gave him larger experience in
the world of men. His letters had given his
father exceeding joy and Mary and Nannie were
inordinately proud of him. His messages to
them were read over and over again as the girls
prepared themselves for sleep or sat half-robed
upon their bedsides.
The gossips had still spared the brother the
story of the breaking up of his home and he
went on with his work happy in his unconscious-
ness. When the final reorganization of the First
took place in November, he relinquished his
other duties and joined his comrades at Louis-
ville, whence they set out on their journey fur-
LICENSE OR LIBERTY 179.
In the meantime, Dorbury had continued to
seethe as before, with the conflicting elements
within its narrow borders. Patriotism and prej-
udice ran riot side by side, and it was a hard race
between them. One set of men talked of the
glory of righteous war, while another deplored
the shedding of fraternal blood. The war Re-
publicans hurled invectives at the peace advo-
cates, and the latter hurled back invectives and
Before the First went back into the field an
incident occurred which showed the temper of
both parties. A meeting was being held in the
square in front of the courthouse. Its object
was to protest against what the opponents of the
war called the attempted coercion of free citi-
zens. Mr. Vallandigham, whose position, both
as a prominent citizen and former congressman
gave weight to whatever he said, had spoken and
the hearts of his hearers were inflamed with bit-
terness. Another speaker, half-hearted and
little trusted rose to address the assembly. He
was a fiery demagogue and depended for his in-
fluence upon his power to work upon the passions
of the lower element. His audience knew this.
He knew it, and for an instant, paused in em-
Just at that moment, " ISTigger Ed " strolled up
and joined the crowd. The eye of the orator
180 THE FANATICS
took him in, and lighted with sudden inspiration.
Here was all the text he needed. Raising his
tall, spare form, he pointed in silence until every
face was turned upon the negro. Then he said,
" Gentlemen, it is for such as that and worse that
you are shedding your brothers' blood." With-
out another word, he sat down. It was the
most convincing speech he had ever made. The
unhappy advent of the negro had put a power
into the words of a man who otherwise would
have been impotent. It was the occasion and
the man to take advantage of it. It may have
been clap-trap. But in the heated spirit of the
time, it was a shot that went straight to the
mark. The crowd began to murmur and then
broke into hisses and jeers. Rude jests with
more of anger than humor in them were bandied
back and forth.
One side was furious that blood should be
spilled for such as the negro bell-ringer, while
the other was equally incensed at being accused
of championing his cause.
" ISTigger-stealers ! Abolitionists ! " shouted one.
" Copperheads ! " shouted the other, while
some of them tried fruitlessly to explain that
they had no interest in niggers.
" He even wears your army cap ! " some one
cried. " Why don't you give him a gun ? "
The stentorian voice of Bradford Waters rose
LICENSE OR LIBERTY 181
over the storm. " Your friends, the rebels," he
said, " have got the niggers digging trenches,
and tilling the fields at home to help them in
" Ah, that's their business," was the reply.
" I don't know that a gun is any better than a
Back and forth the controversy raged, each
party growing hotter and hotter. Negro Ed
stood transfixed at the tempest he had raised.
He looked from face to face but in none of them
found a friend. Both sides hated him and his
people. He was like a shuttlecock. He was a
reproach to one and an insult to the other.
" Gent'men, gent'men," he began to stammer
to the men about him who were hustling him.
" Knock him down, he's been serving the men
who fought our brothers."
" Tear off his cap, the black hound, it's the
same our soldiers wear."
" Kill him ; if it wasn't for his kind, we'd have
had no trouble ! "
" What's he doing here, anyhow ? This is a
white man's Union. Down with niggers ! "
And so the bewildered black man was like to
be roughly handled by both parties, but that an
opportune interruption occurred. The gavel
sounded sharp and harsh and some one was
182 THE FANATICS
" Let Ed alone," the speaker said. " He has
done nothing to you. He has rung our bells,
followed our fires, amused our children and al-
ways been harmless."
The crowd began to remember that all this
" He is not his people, nor the father of them.
The trouble is not with him but with us. It's
not without, it's within. It's not what he is but
what we believe."
Stephen Yan Doren's voice had arrested the
activities of the mob and they gave him absolute
attention. In the respite, the negro, glad of his
release, slipped away with the insulted cap in his
hand. What he felt is hardly worth recording.
He was so near the animal in the estimation of
his fellows (perhaps too near in reality) that he
could be presumed to have really few mental im-
pressions. He was frightened, yes. He was
hurt, too. But no one would have given him
credit for that much of human feeling. They had
kicked a dog and the dog had gone away. That
was all. Yet Ed was not all the dog. His feel-
ing was that of a child who has tried to be good
and been misunderstood. He should not have
felt so, though, for he knew Dorbury and the
times by an instinct that was truer than con-
scious analysis, and he should have known, if he
did not, that the people who mistreated him, were
LICENSE OE LIBEKTY 183
not sane and accountable. But the under dog
does not stop to philosophize about his position.
So Ed went his way in anger and in sorrow.
After Yan Doren's interruption, the meeting
went on in a somewhat more moderate strain,
though the speeches that were made were bitter
enough. A new, but vigorous and efficient gov-
ernor was in the chair, and at times the people
chafed under the enforcement of measures which,
in a state of war, he deemed necessary. No great
disaster had yet come to their own troops to
unite the people in one compact body, or to make
them look farther than themselves or their
fancied personal grievances. The sight of the
wounded and the news of the dead had not yet
thrilled them into the spirit for self-sacrifice.
This was to come later. It was to come when
the soil of the state was threatened by hostile in-
vasion ; when Pittsburg Landing had told its
bloody story, and the gloom of death hung over
But now all was different. After the first
enthusiasm for war had passed, a reaction had
set in. Recruiting went on slowly, while the
citizens looked on with but languid interest. On
the other hand, they flamed with anger at every
hint that their personal rights were being trampled
on. When men, lacking both honor and loyalty,
wrote seditious letters ; when others, more earnest
184 THE FANATICS
than prudent, talked in the public highways or
harangued from platforms, it was all free speech,
the fetich so dear to American worshippers, and
they resented any attempt to restrain or abridge
A man might live and work under the flag
whose soldiers he counselled to desert. That was
all within his private right. Another might
assail the motives and powers of the government
under which he lived, sneer at its chief execu-
tive, and pour out the vials of his wrath against
the unholy war which the Union was waging,
and still, it was only his right. Any attempt to
check disaffection within its borders was con-
strued into coercion. Where now and then,
some too bold speaker was arrested by the au-
thorities, war Democrat, and peace Democrat
united in denouncing the act as high-handed and
unwarranted, and Eepublican joined with them
or was silent.
Upon one thing they were all united, and that
was their hatred and disdain for the hapless race
which had caused the war. Upon its shoulders
fell all the resentment and each individual stood
for his race. If their boys suffered hardships in
the field, they felt that in some manner they
avenged them by firing a negro's home or chas-
ing him along the dark streets as he made his
way home from church. It became an act of
LICENSE OR LIBERTY 185
patriotism to push a black woman from the side-
It only needed the knowledge that free men of
color had offered their services to the state to
bring out a storm of invective and abuse against
the " impudent niggers." There were some who
expressed fear that the governor might yield to
their plea, and threatened if he did, that they
would call their sons and brothers from the
army, and resent the insult by withholding all
aid from the Union arms. But they need have
had no fear of their governor. Strong as he
was and independent, he was too wise a man not
to know and to respect the trend of popular
sentiment, and he heard with unyielding heart
the prayer of the negroes to be put in the blue.
But the time did come when the despised race
was emancipated and they were accepted in the
field as something other than scullions. The
time came, yes, but this governor was not one of
the men who helped to hasten it. It may have
been his personal feeling, rather than his ac-
quiescence to the will of the people that prompted
his reply to the Massachusetts recruiting agent.
The New England commonwealth was recruit-
ing her black regiments and was drawing men
of color from every state. When the chief
executive of Ohio was consulted, he was so far
from objecting to the use of his negroes by an-
186 THE FANATICS
other state that he expressed himself to the effect
that he would be glad if they would take " every
damned nigger out of the state." It may have
been irritation at the anxiety and annoyance
that this unwelcome population had caused the
good governor which brought forth this strong
expression. Whether it was this or not, the fact
remains that many black men of Ohio went into
the Massachusetts regiments, and when they had
made for themselves a record that shamed con-
tempt, it was to that state that popular belief
gave the honor of their deeds.
This forecasting of events would be entirely
out of place but that it serves in some manner to
show the spirit of the times in a loyal and non-
slaveholding state at a crucial moment of the na-
tion's life ; it was a moment when only a spark
was needed to light the whole magazine of dis-
content and blow doubt and vacillation into a
conflagration of disloyalty.
The spark was near being supplied on a Mon-
day night in May. Upon the flint of Dorbury's
public pride and prejudice the blow was struck
and for a time the flash seemed imminent. For
a long time a brave and rugged citizen of the
little town, a man having the courage of his con-
victions and deeply trusted by his fellow-men,
had been outspoken in his denunciation of the
war. Wherever he was, he did not fear to ex-
LICENSE OR LIBERTY 187
press his belief in its illegality and unrighteous-
ness. He was a strong man and an earnest one,
and in his strength and earnestness lay his power
over his fellow-men. He had represented them
in Congress and he had done well. They believed
in him, and now when he dared to say of the
nation struggling for its very life that it was
wrong, he found many followers, though some,
like Bradford Waters, had already fallen from
Yallandigham's side. For a while, he went his
way unmolested, until one speech, a thought too
bold in expression, brought down upon him the
wrath — a wrath rather restraining than vindic-
tive — of the government.
It was near midnight when a small company
of soldiers from Cincinnati went to the door of
Vallandigham's Dorbury home. The inmates of
the house were abed, and all was darkness and si-
lence. There was no reply to the thunderous sum-
mons on the panels, some inkling of the object of
this midnight visit having leaked out or been
suspected. The summons was repeated and
while the men talked in low whispers below, a
head was put out of an upstairs window and a
voice called aloud some apparently meaningless
words, which, however, were construed into a
signal for aid. From this time, the soldiers de-
layed no longer, for in the present state of feel-
ing the approach of reinforcements to those
188 THE FANATICS
within would possibly result in bloodshed. This
they were anxious to avoid, so making their way
into the house they went from room to room,
frequently having to break open locked and
barred doors until they found the object of their
search, and in spite of threat and protest, hur-
ried away with him to a waiting train.
A small crowd collected, and followed the sol-
diers to the station, but with the exception of a
stone occasionally hurled, it confined itself to
threats and abuse.
" This will be heard from," said one.
" It will do more to make Ohio fight against
the war than anything else."
" Kidnappers ! kidnappers ! " was the cry.
On the morrow the excitement in Dorbury
was intense, but history has dealt sufficiently
with all that was done then, with the speeches
that were made, the bombastic letters that were
written — the damage that was inflicted upon
The town, iron-clad in its personal pride, gave
itself up to an orgy of disloyalty. A tempest in
a teapot, some one will say. But the spirit that
raged in the teapot showed the temper of the
larger cauldron which seethed over the same fire.
" What do you think of this later bit of work ? "
asked Da vies on the way to the office the morn-
ing after the arrest.
LICENSE OR LIBERTY 189
"I think what I have always thought, that
whatever is good for the Union is right." But
his tone was not so assured as usual.
" You used to think a great deal of Valland-
" In such a time as this, I have no time for
personal feelings. I have said that before."
" Yes, it seems about true, we all seem to have
taken leave of our senses and to have suspended
the operations both of our country's constitution
and of our natural affections."
" It is a strange time and we must change with
" It is a horrible, a fanatical time, and I shall
thank God when it is over, however the end
may come, through Union or peaceful separa-
" I would rather see the country drenched in
blood than the latter."
"Waters," said Davies slowly, as if the light
were just dawning upon him, " I'm afraid you're
a fanatic, I'm afraid you're a fanatic."
But Waters went on moodily and did not
DOLLY AND WALTER
Down there in Virginia, where Walter had
now settled into staying with a certain self-satis-
faction, the tides of war flowed with vigor but
did not reach and submerge the house where he
kept the even tenor of his days. There were, of
course, midnight visits at times from the soldiers
of both sides. But the place enjoyed a peculiar
exemption from molestation by either Confeder-
ate or Unionist. To the one, it was the home of
old Colonel Stewart, an ardent Southerner. To
the others, it was the place of abode of a paroled
Union prisoner. Walter's position was anoma-
lous, and although he was forced into it, he felt
keenly that he was playing a double role. He
no longer yearned to be with the Northern
forces, but would it not be foolish to proclaim
his defection from the house tops ? The South-
ern soldiers and his neighbors looked upon him
as a Unionist chafing at restraint, and they
laughed at him for a caged bantam. Had their
surmises been true, he would have scorned their
DOLLY AND WALTEE 191
laughter, but as it was, it cut him like a whip,
because to his shame, what they laughed at, did
not exist. Nor could he tell them this. They
would have thought even less of him as a rene-
gade who changed his allegiance and views under
the stress of imprisonment.
Now and then, rather too frequently than he
cared to own, he felt a thrill of envy for Nelson
Etheridge, who had flung himself body and soul
into the Union cause, and from whom he heard
occasionally when he rode over to see Miss
Etheridge, or when she and his sister Emily ex-
changed visits. " Here's a man for you," he
would say to himself. " One who has not only
dared, but continues to dare, one who, placed
as I am placed, would feel the galling bonds of
his restraint and do something besides feel ridic-
Perhaps it was because he was so young — and
youth takes itself seriously, being in its own eyes
either God or devil, hero or craven — that Walter
was so hard upon his own failings. Sometimes,
however, the truth that his position was not of
his own seeking, forced itself upon his mind.
But unwilling to accept this excuse, he ques-
tioned himself if he were not glad that things
had turned out as they had. To this he must
answer yes, and so he fell again to cursing his
192 THE FANATICS
It is not to be supposed, however, that he lived
constantly in a state of self-condemnation. Other
moods were frequent and lasting. It took him a
very short time to fall into the ways of a gentle-
man farmer, and he took a boyish pleasure in di-
recting the work of the negroes about the place.
His moments of greatest happiness were when
he was riding, about the fields on some duty or
other, and he would be joined by Emily or Miss
Etheridge. But his greatest moments of depres-
sion would follow when he saw, or thought he
saw, a question or a reproach in the girl's eyes.
Since his arrival at his father's house, he had
come to see more and more of this radiant South-
ern beauty, and a frank friendship had grown up
between them. Friendship, he called it, for
cherishing in his heart the memory of his regard
for Nannie, he did not dream that love could
touch him. But slowly and reluctantly, he be-
gan to compare the image in his heart with the
fair girl at his side and the image suffered.
Finally, he began to say that Nannie had ap-
pealed strongly to his boyish fancy, while this
woman reached his maturer manhood. In spite
of his self-questionings, Walter failed to see the
humor implied in the fact that without any great
moral, mental or spiritual cataclysm, this maturer
manhood had come to him in a very short time
after he had looked into Dolly's grey eyes.
DOLLY AND WALTEK 193
She often rallied him about their first romantic
meeting, and she would laugh the most musical
of laughs as he told her about his trepidation as
he approached the house. When she forgot her-
self, and was merry among friends, she had the
habit of falling into the soft-Southern manner of
" It's right down mean," she said to Walter in
one of her bantering moods, " that you didn't let
a body know you were coming. I reckon you
and my brother Nelson would have had a mighty
nice time together, but you were entirely too
" If I had known that I was going to find
friends behind those doors," he bent his gaze
tenderly upon her, " I should have acted differ-
ently, knocked easily, or roared me as gently as
a sucking dove."
"Poor Nelson, I don't reckon many folks
would have stayed on and dared capture like he
did ; but Nelson always was such a daring boy."
Walter winced. He thought he saw the ques-
tion in her eyes, and something veiled in what
Did she despise him after all, and only give
him the semblance of friendship for his sister's
sake ? The thought made him miserable, al-
though he never stopped to tell himself what
logical reason there was for his being miserable,
194 THE FANATICS
if the girl whom he had known but a few weeks
did despise him.
" The Union has gained a gallant man in your
brother," he said, because his head was in a
tumult, and he could not say anything else. She
did not recognize the commonplaceness of his re-
mark, however. It was praise for her brother,
and so, sublime.
" Oh, I wish you could have known him," she
went on. " You'd have been sure to love him.
Don't you know," she said, with a sudden im-
pulse, " since I've known you, I've always thought
of you and him in the same company, marching
and fighting together. I don't care in what uni-
form, blue or grey. There, there, now," she
added, gravely, " I've made you feel bad, but
don't let's think of it. Yours is the fortune of
war, just as whatever happens to him will be."
Walter was pale from forehead to lips and it
was the knowledge of this that checked the girl
with the belief that she had pained him by touch-
ing the subject of his detention.
" I'm afraid you're not a very good Unionist,"
said the young man somewhat recovering him-
"I'm a woman, Mr. Stewart, and I reckon
you're too young to know just what that implies.
I'm in favor of the Union, because Nelson's
fighting for it, and he wouldn't do anything that
DOLLY AND WALTEB 195
he didn't think was right. But I am a southern
girl, and I love the South. Now what am I go-
ing to do? You don't know, though, for it's
only women who let their affections run against
He gave her a quick, suspicious glance. She
was unconscious. He was on the rack.
" It isn't only women," he said.
" You only say that to be polite, and because
it's so different with you, but I know better."
He rose quickly and on the plea of some obli-
gation moved away, leaving her to Emily's com-
pany and conversation.
The rest of the day was a trying time for Wal-
ter. It was now unmistakable. Dolly Ether-
idge had seen through him, had seen his weak-
ness and his defection, and in her contempt for him
delighted to stab him with her quiet sarcasm.
What a thing he must be to call forth the girl's
disgust. How she must look down upon him
when she compared him with her brother, such a
brother; and in fancy, he saw Nelson Etheridge
sweeping the enemy before him to the huzzas of
a great nation. Well, anyway, Dolly could not
think less of him than he thought of himself.
He would rather not have seen her any more
that night. But he had promised to go with
Emily to take her home. He appeared at supper
with the best grace possible, and when it was
196 THE FANATICS
over, joined the girls for the ride in the moon-
light. It would have been pleasant to him, this
cantering by Dolly's side, with the moon, a silver
globe above them, and the scent of magnolias
coming sweetly to their senses, but that his mind
was sadly busy with what she must be thinking
of him. He kept a moody silence while the girls
chattered on. Sometimes, even, in his desper-
ation, he thought of violating his parole, but his
face grew hot with shame, and the thought went
as quickly as it came.
Dolly and Emily, because they both believed
Walter immersed in sad thoughts, respected his
silence, and when he had helped the girl alight
at her door, and given the horse to a black serv-
ant aroused from somewhere, the former gave
him her hand with a little sympathetic pressure
that made his heart leap. But then, the next
moment he was saying, "Bah, she is only sorry
for having stabbed me so cruelly, but the reason
for the stabbing remains."
As they turned their horses homeward again,
Walter seemed in no better mood for talking
than before. But the moonlight and the sweet-
ness of the soft night seemed to have got into his
sister's tongue. She drew her horse close to her
brother's and laid her hand gently on his.
" I'm afraid you're not well, to-night, Walter.
What's the matter ? "
DOLLY AND WALTEB 197
" Oh, nothing, nothing. I'm really very well."
" But you have been so silent, and I really be-
lieve Dolly expected you to talk to her."
" I hardly think she could have cared much,
either one way or the other," he said bitterly.
"If you can say that, you know very little
about Dolly, or in fact, about women at all. You
must know that she likes you, and likes you very
" I don't believe it," said Walter doggedly, but
something he did just at the moment to the horse
he was riding, made her arch her neck and step
out as daintily as a lady.
" But she does like you, and if she didn't, you
would soon know it. She's very peculiar and as
open as the day. She can never conceal her
thoughts and feelings. Some people call it a
fault, but I call it a virtue."
" One would think at times that she was sar-
castic or spoke under a veil." He was making a
great effort to be indifferent, but the bridle in his
hand grew tense.
" Why, she's as innocent of such things as a
child. How stupid you are, Walter. I never
knew you to be so before, and I did so hope you
would be good friends."
" Well, well, haven't we been ? "
" It seemed so for awhile, but you were so dif-
198 THE FANATICS
" Was I ? Did she notice it ? " The question
" Being a woman, she could scarcely help notic-
" Well, I was thinking," he said lamely, and
then burst out, " What a glorious night it is,
and how sweet those magnolias are. I didn't
notice it before. Why, Emily, it's good to be
" One wouldn't have thought it of you a little
while ago, you were so quiet and subdued."
" Oh, well, there are times when the beauty of
a night sinks into our souls too deep for words."
Walter winced in spirit at his own hypocrisy.
" There, I told Dolly that you felt more than
" You told her that ? She talks about me to
you ? "
" Oh sometimes you come up in the course of
" What a wonderful girl she is."
" You — do you think so ? "
" That is, she shows a deep affection for her
brother, which is commendable."
" Oh, — but — don't most sisters ? "
" There are very few such sisters as I imagine
Miss Etheridge and know you to be."
She forgave him instantly. " You dear old
DOLLY AND WALTER 199
" And you think she likes me ? " It was sweet
to him to say it after his bitter thoughts.
" I know she does, and you should have known
" Her brother must be a fine fellow."
" You would like him, I know."
" Let's sit out and talk awhile. It's altogether
too lovely to go in," said the young man, as they
turned in at the gate.
" I shall like it," said Emily, and giving their
horses to a groom, they sat down on the veranda
steps. For a few moments there was a silence
between them, and both sat gazing at the starry
heavens. Then Walter said falteringly,
" I — I — really — I am very much interested in
Miss Etheridge's brother. Tell me more about
Then his sister laughed, not teasingly nor ban-
teringly, as some sisters would have done, but
with a little satisfied note, and she said, " Brother
mine, there is only one thing more transparent
than glass," and her brother caught her about the
waist, and kissed her for some reason not quite
clear to himself. So they sat together long that
night and talked of the Etheridges, brother and
In the young man, his fellow-soldier, Walter
evinced a polite and conservative interest, but he
was apt to bring the conversation back to the
200 THE FANATICS
sister when it seemed to have a tendency to re-
main too long away from her. If he found no
more pertinent remark to make, he would turn
to Emily and say, " So you think she likes me ? "
and this was sufficient to start the stream of talk
flowing in the proper channel.
When, finally, they sought their rooms that
night, and the young man dropped asleep, there
was a smile on his lips, and the words on his
tongue, " She likes me, she likes me."
WHEN LOVE STANDS GUAKD
What surprised Walter when the morning
brought with waking a review of the night's hap-
penings, was that Emily, simple Emily, who had
never had a love affair in her life that he knew,
should have discovered to him his own secret.
Or maybe she had discovered nothing that really
existed at the time. Perhaps the train had been
laid, the fuse set, and her remark only been the
match to set the whole agoing. However, it
made no matter at all how or when it happened.
It was true. Now to let Dolly know. It was
remarkable how soon and how easily all his fears
and misgivings had disappeared. It was as if this
state of exultation had been waiting for him and
he had but to step into it. Why had he delayed
so long ?
The days that followed were filled with softer
sounds than the sounds of war, and doings that
had no shadow or show of the harshness of the
camp. Walter, dazzled by the glory of the new
world that had opened up before him, forgot the
202 THE FANATICS
hardness of his lot, forgot, perhaps, even the
deeper sympathy that should have gone from him
to the men in the field — for love is a jealous mis-
tress. He walked and rode much with his sweet-
heart, by the grass-grown bridle paths and under
the ancient trees. His heart sang a song to hers,
and hers replied in kind. Emily, like a good sis-
ter, knew when to be judiciously absent, and
Dolly understood all that he would say to her
long before he dared speak.
It was not until the warm southern November
was painting the hills and valleys that he told
her of his love and his hope.
" It seems, somehow, Dolly, that I have no
right to speak to you, placed as I am, but what
am I to do ? The message beats at my heart un-
til at times I think you must hear it. I love you
and have loved you from the very first night
that we met."
" Are you sure ? " she asked quietly, but with
just a suspicion of mirth.
" I was never surer of anything in my life."
" Did you always know that you loved me ? "
" I did not always say it to myself as I say it
now, sometimes tremblingly, sometimes with ex-
ultation, but I must always have known it, else
why should your lightest word have had the
power of making me happy or miserable ? "
They were walking slowly over the crisp pine
WHEN LOVE STANDS GUAKD 203
needles in the copse not far from the house. She
drew closer to his side, and her hand slipped into
"Poor Walter," she said, "I used to make
you miserable. I never wanted to do that be-
" Because ? " he said eagerly.
" Because I do love you."
He took her in his arms and held her close to
him. His head bowed humbly.
" What am I to be worthy of this ? " he said at
" You are Walter, my Walter, my hero."
Even in that moment of ecstasy he winced at
the word hero. He was not of the material of
which heroes are made and he knew it. But he
would not shadow their happiness now. Let her
think well of him if she could. Later, he would
try to deserve her, and after all, what man is so
good, so upright as the woman who loves him
Later, when the deep solemnity of the first
betrothal had given way to a gayer mood, she
asked him, " What will my Virginia friends say
to my marrying a Yankee ? "
" What can they say when you are more than
half Yankee yourself ? "
"I declare I'm not. I'm Southern clear
204 THE FANATICS
He took her hands and laughed down into her
eyes. "No, you're not. You're just — just a
woman, and I'm only a man and we're both
more lovers than anything else, so let your
friends say what they will," and the answer
seemed to satisfy her. Walter, himself, was very
well satisfied, and when two young people are
perfectly satisfied with themselves and each
other, the world is shut from their vision, and
time trips a merry pace.
" Let us keep our sweet secret for awhile," she
said when the lengthening shadows warned them
that it was time even for a lover's tete-a-tete to
" Let us," he assented, " if we can. It seems
so much more our own, but, can we ? "
" Oh, I can, I know, and you can of course, for
it's only women who are untrustworthy with
" Yes, that's true, but there are secrets and
secrets. There never was such a one as this be-
fore, so we have no foundation upon which to
make a conclusion."
" You are a goose," she said, and then paid
him for being one. Walter was right though.
They went into supper and had not been at table
five minutes before every one knew. Something
in their faces or manner or the way they played
with the food, laughed inconsequently, cast
WHEN LOYE STANDS GUARD 205
glances at each other, told more plainly than
words what had happened. Love had put on
them his subtle sign.
Of course, Walter being a man, thought that
he was carrying off his part with wonderful
grace and shrewdness. But when Emily teased
Dolly as they were passing out on the veranda,
the newly betrothed hid her blushing face and
cried, " Oh, Emily, how did you know ? "
It was within a few days after this that re-
ports began to come to the residents in and about
Fairfax of the presence of guerillas, foraging and
marauding bands in the neighborhood and fre-
quently greatly exaggerated accounts were given
of their depredations. Walter heard them all
with a sinking at the heart for the safety of his
betrothed. She was alone there with only three
or four black servants in whose valor or faithful-
ness he had little or no belief. The first night or
two that the rumors were current, he contented
himself with getting to horse, and in silence and
secrecy patroling the road in front of the Ether-
idge cottage. Nothing occurred, but as the
rumors grew darker, his state of mind became
more perturbed and he decided upon more vigor-
ous measures. But Dolly's danger had not oc-
curred to him alone, and before he could break
the subject to his sister, she had come to him
with a troubled face.
206 THE FANATICS
" Walter," she said, " won't you excuse me — I
— haven't been spying on you, but I've guessed
where you've been the last two nights."
A thrill half of shame and half of pride in
himself shook him.
" Well, wasn't I right, Emily ? " he asked.
" Of course, you were, for the time being ; but
do you think it is enough ? You know we had
word from Miss Mason that the guerillas visited
her place last night and if it hadn't been for the
servants thev would have been rude or worse.
Now Dolly is poor and has so few negroes about
" Well, what can we do ? "
" I wouldn't trust those black folks anyhow,
since they've got notions of freedom in their
" Nor I, but I can't go over there and stay."
" Dolly could come here."
" Would she ? Do you think she would ? "
" Of course she would. Mother and I both
agree that this is altogether the best plan, and
we wondered if you'd mind riding over for her
"Would I mind?"
The tone was quite sufficient, and nothing
more was needed to be said.
The moon was at the full, and flooded the
landscape with silvery light when accompanied
WHEN LOYE STANDS GUAKD 207
by Sam, a slave boy to whom he had become
greatly attached, and bearing the invitation
from his mother and sister, Walter set out for
Dolly's house. For a time they went their way in
silence, and then Sam, with the uncontrollable de-
sire of his race for lyric expression broke into a
song that woke the echoes. The young man, he
was hardly yet a master, even in his thoughts,
listened with pleasure, until he saw a dark
form beside the road rise up, gaze at them for a
moment, and then disappear into the surround-
" Sh," said Walter, without mentioning what
he had seen, " I don't believe I'd sing any more,
Sam. There's no telling what we might start
" Wisht to de Lawd it 'ud be a 'possum," said
Sam, chuckling with easy familiarity, but he
hushed his song.
" If we started up anything, it might not be
something so pleasant for you as a 'possum."
" Not pleasant f u' me," replied Sam, " huh uh,
you do' know dis hoss."
" So you'd leave me, would you, you rascal ?
Well, you're a great one."
" 'Spec's I'd have to leave you ef I couldn't tek
As they approached their destination, Walter
suddenly drew rein and laid his hand on his
208 THE FANATICS
companion's bridle. He pointed quickly and si-
lently to the form of a man clearly outlined in
the moonlight. He was standing at the front of
the cottage window attempting to peer into the
room through a crack between the lower blind
and the sill. So intent was he upon his spying
that he had not noticed the approach of the
" Dismount here," said "Walter, " and tie the
horses under the shadow of that mulberry tree.
I believe there's mischief going on."
The negro did as he was bidden and hastened
back to his companion's side, just as the intruder
walked up and began knocking at the door.
After some delay, the voice of a negro from
within, questioned, " Who's dat ? "
" Never mind," was the answer, " you open
The silent watcher was breathless with inter-
est, but he kept cool enough to say, " Sam, you
slip around to the cabins, and rouse what
negroes you can. Be ready for whatever
happens, for there's no telling how many of
them there are." Without a thought of his
joke about desertion, Sam slipped away, leap-
ing across the moonlit places from shadow to
shadow while Walter crept nearer to the man at
It had not been opened, but a negro came
WHEJST LOVE STANDS GUAKD 209
from a side entrance and confronted the in-
"Why don't you open the door?" was the
harsh question fired at the dark Cerberus.
" Well, suh, I didn't jes' know who you was,
an' I fought mebbe I could tell you whutevah
you wanted to know." .
" It's none of your damn business who I am.
I'm here in the name of the law, and you'd bet-
ter open up all-fired quick or it'll be the worse
The negro went back around the house and in
a few minutes the door opened. As he passed
the light, Walter saw that he wore the uniform
of a Confederate officer.
The door closed behind him, but Stewart be-
coming spy in turn, came near enough to hear
what was said within.
" Where is your mistress ? " in the officer's
" She done retahed, suh."
" Tell her I wish to see her."
" She done retahed."
" Yery well, let her get up. Tell her that her
brother is supposed to be skulking within the
lines, and that I am sent to search the house for
" You kin such de house."
" I shall begin with her room."
210 THE FANATICS
" Dey is no one in huh room, but huh, suh."
" How dare you talk back to me, you black
hound ? "
The harsh voice was suddenly checked, and
then Walter heard another that made his heart
leap within his throat.
" Never mind, Mingo," it said, " I am out of
my room now. Lieutenant Forsythe," went on
Dolly calmly, "you are at liberty to begin there
now, and search where you please." The tone
reeked with scorn.
" You will go with me," was the reply.
" A trusted servant may accompany you."
" You will go with me, I said."
" As you will, lieutenant, but this is the way
you pay your scores — come when there is no
man in the house save a servant, to take revenge
for a woman's no."
"We will not discuss that matter now, Miss
Walter had pushed the door open and he saw
that the man's face went red and white at Dolly's
words. He saw too, the fierce eyes of the black
servant fixed on Forsythe, and for one instant,
he wondered if he were needed. In the next, he
had flung the door open and stepped into the room.
Every eye turned upon him, and he said clearly,
" And why, Lieutenant Forsythe, must the lady
go with you ? "
WHEN LOYE STANDS GITAKD 211
" Oh, Walter," Dolly cried, and then checked
herself with a sigh of relief. The lieutenant was
" And who in hell are you ? " he asked in a
" I am Walter Stewart, at your service, lieu-
"The paroled Yankee, eh? Oh, I see," he
said in a tone that put murder in Walter's heart.
" It is thus that you are protected, Miss Ether-
idge ? "
" You may go on with your search, lieutenant,
that you have a perfect right to do, but Miss
Etheridge, protected or not, will not leave this
The two men stood glaring into each other's
faces, while Mingo, relaxed from his vigilance,
was chuckling in a corner. On a sudden, there
was a rush of feet without, and four brawny
men sprang into the room. The open door and
the loud voices had attracted Forsythe's minions,
who had been placed at a convenient distance.
The lieutenant smiled grimly as his men sur-
"I reckon, Mr. Stewart," he said with a
sneer, " that you'll go a bit slower now."
" I'm not so sure of that, lieutenant," said
Walter, and as he spoke, four negroes, led by
Sam, and bearing stout clubs swept into the
212 THE FANATICS
room. The soldiers, if such the ragged guerillas,
whom Forsy the had taken as his accomplices
could be called, were completely taken by sur-
prise, and wilted as the threatening blacks, now
man to man lined up beside them.
While the disappointed officer stood there
chewing his mustache with rage, Walter had
time for a few reflections upon the fidelity of a
people whom he so little trusted because their
fidelity militated against themselves, and it set-
tled something in his mind that made his eyes
flash and his lips press close together.
" You may proceed with your search now,
lieutenant," said Dolly sweetly.
" It is unnecessary now. I suppose our bird
has flown, and I shall not put myself to the
trouble of searching your empty rooms."
" Are you sure that you did not know before
you came, lieutenant, that you would not find my
brother here ? "
" I am sure that I have found out some things
that I did not know before," he answered, glanc-
ing meaningly at the girl's protector. And then,
the devil, which is in every man, became strong
in Walter. It overcame him. His fist shot out,
and Lieutenant Forsythe's lips spilled blood. The
officer's eyes grew green and his hand went
quickly to his holster, and then, the veneering
that had cracked and shown the brute in him,
WHEN LOYE STANDS GUABD 213
closed again, and wiping the blood from his
mouth, he said with the calmness of intense
anger, " What this calls for, Mr. Stewart, is en-
tirely beyond the limits of my present official duty.
Will you grant me the pleasure of a few minutes'
private conversation?" They stepped outside
and a brief whispered conversation ensued. They
were equally placid when they returned.
" Attention ! about face ! forward, march ! "
and without further word or sign, Forsythe and
his minions marched away.
" Follow them quietly, Sam, and see that they
are up to no mischief, and you, Miss Etheridge,
get your things on, for you must go with me."
He had forgotten all about the formal invita-
" When is it to be ? " she asked in reply.
He would have tried to evade, but she looked
at him so steadfastly and earnestly that he could
" To-morrow morning," he said simply, " but it
is to be taken up as a merely personal matter, so
I beg that you say nothing about it. Now go."
She pressed his hand quickly.
"Come 'long, Miss Dolly," said Mingo, still
chuckling with glee, " hyeah 'Mandy stan'in' be-
hime de do' wid a flatiron. I reckon ef Mas'
Stewa't hadn' 'a' come, she'd a' to' dat game
roostah up 'fo 1 I could a' said Jack Robinson."
214 THE FANATICS
When Sam had returned and reported all well,
they got to saddle and started on their way, two
of the negroes mounting and coming behind to
prevent treachery. Dolly and Walter rode side
by side, and Sam, who rode before, had neither
eyes nor ears.
"Do you really believe he was looking for
Nelson ? " she asked.
" Do you ? "
" Oh, Walter, he has a grudge, and he is re-
lentless. He proposed to me once, and he has
pursued me ever since."
" For that reason, if no other, I shall try to
kill him to-morrow," and the shadow being con-
venient, he kissed her.
There was some commotion in the house when
the party reached home, and the story was told
in its entirety. But nothing save praise fell to
Walter's lot for his action. Dolly respected his
wishes and said nothing of the impending duel,
though her heart ached for her lover.
" I shall see you before you go in the morning,"
she said when they were alone for a moment be-
fore parting that night.
" I shall be leaving very early, before you are
" Before I am up ! Walter, what can you
be thinking of me ? Why, I shall not go to
WHEJST LOVE STANDS GUAKD 215
" You must, dear, for I shall, and I shall sleep
"As you say, but I shall see you in the morn-
Walter called Sam to him as he went up to his
AN AFFAIR OF HONOR
The arrangements for the meeting between
Walter Stewart and Lieutenant Forsythe were
as simple as the brevity of their conversation in-
dicated. The whole matter was to be kept a
profound secret as much on account of Walter's
position as a paroled prisoner as because of the
other's place in the army. They were to face
each other in a small open space under the trees
that lined a little creek about three miles from
the Etheridge cottage. They were both familiar
with the place and agreed upon it with equal
readiness. Because of the secrecy which they
wished maintained, there were to be no witnesses
beside the two seconds, but each might bring
with him a trusted friend or servant. Thus
promptly, they arranged the affair leaving only
to the assistants yet to be chosen the task of
marking the ground and giving the signal.
Pistols were the weapons.
When, after parting with Dolly, Walter called
Sam to his room, it was to dispatch him on a
AN AFFAIE OF HONOK 217
delicate and doubtful errand. Recognizing the
peculiar attitude of his neighbors towards him, he
had formed but few friendships and these only
of the most tentative kind. Now, in this emer-
gency, he needed a friend and a confidant. His
mind turned to but one person, a young Dr.
Daniel, whose frank manner had won him as
much as he dared yield himself. He now sent
the servant to bring to him this man upon the
plea of most pressing business.
In less than an hour, the young physician was
with him. He was an open-faced, breezy look-
ing young man of nine-and-twenty, or there-
abouts, with the assured manner of perfect self-
possession and self-reliance,
He came into the room with a soft though
brisk step, but stopped in surprise to see Walter
pacing up and down the room.
" Come in, doctor."
" Why, why, man, from the expression of that
rascal of yours, I expected to find you in bed
tossing with a raging fever or laid up with a
" I shall not be your patient, to-night, doctor,
to-morrow, who can say ? "
"Eh, what's this? Not thinking of suicide,
are you ? "
" I'm thinking of how good a shot my opponent
may be. The fact is, Dr. Daniel, I called you
218 THE FANATICS
here on a business that is almost, if not wholly
impertinent. But I hope you will pardon and
help me, for there is no one else to whom I may
turn." He then recounted to him the events of
the night ; the physician's face, already inclined
to ruddiness, growing redder and angrier as he
" Now, doctor," concluded Walter, " I am sure
that Forsythe's intentions were neither honest
nor official, and I have only tried to do my duty.
Is it too much to ask you to forget what I am
politically, and to be my friend and second in
this matter ? "
" Forget what you are ? Damn what you are,
Stewart. I'll tell you what I'll do, man, I'll
change places with you. I'll let you be my
" It's my fight."
" But don't you see it's a nasty business, and
might get you into complications."
" I am willing to risk all that."
" Oh, come now, be sensible. The lady's
brother is a good friend of mine."
" The lady is a good friend of mine."
" But I know the whole story ; how he has
tried to annoy that girl ever since she rejected
him two years ago as any girl of decency and
spirit would have done. I know he has always
kept just outside the limit that would give her
AN AFFAIR OF HOJTOK 219
brother the right to fill his carcass full of lead.
He has overstepped it now, and I want a chance
to get a shot at the dirtiest hound in all Yirginia.
Give it to me."
"Wish I could, old man, but I want it my-
" Oh, well, I always was a selfish dog. It's
your say and if you won't, you won't ; but any-
how, I'm with you, and I'll be in at the death if
I can't have the brush."
"Thank you, doctor, your kindness is even
greater than I could have hoped for, even from
" Yours isn't, or you'd have given me a shot
at that cur ; but remember if he happens to hit
you, and God forbid that, I get the next chance
at his hide."
" I wouldn't want to leave the business to a
better man, and now, let us complete our ar-
rangements, and then you may get to bed."
They talked for a short time longer, and then
Walter conducted the physician to his room,
while he gave his attention to one or two other
duties. The last words the buoyant young
Southerner said to him as he began to undress
were, " Um, you're a lucky dog — a shot at For-
sythe ! "
It was before the darkness of the night had
given way to the morning's grey that the men
220 THE FANATICS
were up and ready for the saddle. Dr. Daniel
had already reached the lawn where Sam was
holding the horses. Walter loitered down the
hallway, half expecting, yet half doubting that
he should see Dolly.
" She's asleep, of course," he told himself, " and
I'm glad of it. How could I expect her to get up
after such a night as she has had. I was a brute
to think of it." Nevertheless, there was a dis-
satisfied feeling tugging at his heart as he
stepped out on the veranda. But his foot had
scarcely touched the floor when his eye caught
the flash of a woman's white shawl up under
some vines that overhung the porch. His heart,
suddenly relieved from its tension, gave a great
leap as he hastened towards her.
" Dolly," he said, " I was afraid you wouldn't
come. Indeed, I didn't want you to, dear."
" I had to come, if only to bid you Godspeed,
Walter. Come back to me, you will, won't
you ? "
" To answer that, lies beyond me, my darling,
but I will try. If I don't "
" Don't say that — you will."
" Good-bye, now."
" Good-bye, Walter, good-bye, and strength to
you and a safe return. Good-bye."
She went back and he hastened down and
swung into the saddle.
AN AFFAIR OF HONOR 221
" We must not keep the gentlemen waiting,"
he said to the doctor as they rode away slowly
until out of ear-shot of the house.
" It will be enough to leave him lie waiting
afterwards, and I hope you will leave him for a
long wait, after it's all over."
" Well, it's a chance, you know, and I'm will-
ing to take it ; if he leaves me, instead, I guess
Sam here, can take me home across his horse."
Sam was trailing along, carrying the pistol
case, but he caught the words, and spurred up to
"Mas' Waltah," he said solemnly, " ef dat man
hits you, dey kin bu'n me er hang me, but he
ain' gwine leave dis place alive."
The doctor suddenly halted horse and turned
on the negro.
" Now look here, Sam," he said, " it's all right
for you to be protecting your master, but what-
ever happens, if you raise a hand against John
Forsythe, I'll kill you on the instant. When
your master is done with him, he's my meat, and
he'll hardly take the reckoning of us both."
Sam looked appealingly to his master.
" That's right," the latter replied, " you're not
in this part of it, Sam, but you did your share
last night. Anyhow, I'm not counting on leav-
ing work for anybody this morning."
For the rest of the journey, they rode in silence,
222 THE FANATICS
but Walter's thoughts were busy with the events
that had filled his life in the weeks since he had
left Ohio. He reviewed the change that had
come to him in his feelings towards the cause he
had espoused. He saw how remorse for the dis-
agreement with his father, his affection for his
family and the glamour of the South had all
combined to win him from a righteous allegiance,
and made him lukewarm or indifferent to what
he had once felt to be the absolute right. He
saw that in spirit, if not in deed, he was as much
a deserter as the veriest renegade, who stole from
the marching ranks to hide in the thickets and by
ways until his comrades had passed on. He saw
how much weaker a man he was now than on the
day when he had gone out from his father's house
in Dorbury, though he did not see that the weak-
ening process had been excusable, even inevi-
table. Though he held himself mercilessly up to
his own criticism, the verv fact that he was able
to see these things in himself clearly, was evi-
dence of the approach of a new state of mind, a
change subtler than either of the others had been.
He had begun to get back to himself, to be a man
stronger than his surroundings, with a spirit in-
dependent of his affections.
At first contact with it, to him, as to many
others beyond his years, the condition of the
South, its life and its people, had seemed all
AN AFFAIR OF HONOR 223
chivalry and romance. The events of the past
and the present day's business, had done more to
tear aside this veil than anything else could have
done. It was clear to him now that they were
not all gods and goddesses in Dixie — that if it
were an Eden, at least it was not free from
serpents. He had received a royally good shak-
ing up, and now he began to perceive that some
hasty conclusions which he had reached were not
based upon fact. One of these was that the
North was eaten up by commercialism while the
South was free from it ; another that Northern
honor and Southern honor were two essentially
different things ; both these beliefs died an early
death as he reflected that here too, men bought
and bartered, sold and intrigued. The occur-
rences which had taken place within the last few
months under his eyes now reacted one upon the
other with the result of placing him surely,
strongly and logically where his first enthusiasm
had placed him, and for the first time since he
had been paroled, the irksome hatefulness of his
situation was borne in upon him. Now he chafed
to be in the field again. Now he felt the thrill
of fighting for a great cause. His eyes were
flashing and his teeth clenched hard when the
voice of the doctor called him to the business at
" Here we are," he cried as gaily as though
224 THE FANATICS
they were a party reaching the picnic grounds,
" and we're the first here, of course."
They dismounted and tied their horses, and
then began examining the ground. It was a
plot of greensward, well surrounded by trees,
and sloping with a slow incline to a little creek
that ran gurgling past — a quiet, pretty enough
place, but its very seclusion had made it the
recipient of many a bloody secret in those days
when men settled affairs of honor according to
the code. Two trees stood opposite each other
about twenty paces apart, and these had won the
name of the " duelling trees," because the dis-
tance between them being paced, the principals
were usually placed, one under each, and many a
deadly combat had been waged beneath their
softly sighing branches.
The grey dawn had given way to the warmer
hues of morning when two other riders cantered
into the circle of trees and halted.
" It's Forsythe," said the doctor.
" And he only brings one of his troopers with
him as second."
" If it is true that he went on that errand last
night without authority, it is just as well that he
does not have too many in his secret," was the
The men greeted each other with the utmost
formality, though there was a touch of brusque-
AN AFFAIR OF HONOR 225
ness in the physician's recognition of the lieu-
tenant. While the two principals walked apart,
their seconds paused for a brief conference as to
conditions. In a little while, Dr. Daniel came
" Are you ready and steady, old man ? "
" Both," was the calm reply.
" The conditions are these ; you are to be sta-
tioned at twenty paces, back to back. At the
word, you are to turn and fire where you stand,
then each has the privilege of advancing, firing
until one or the other is hit. Are you satisfied ? "
" Yery well, we are ready," said the doctor to
Forsythe's trooper, and together they paced off
the ground, already so well known. Then the
men were put in their places, and each second
saw to the condition of his principal's weapon.
Dr. Daniel stationed himself to the left, and
midway the ground, while the trooper took a
like position to the right.
" Are you ready, gentlemen ? " said the latter.
" We are ready."
Then the clatter of horses' hoofs broke the
morning stillness, and he paused. Both men
waited with manifest impatience, but neither
" Go on," said the doctor. " Quick ! "
226 THE FANATICS
Forsythe half turned, but it was too late. A
squad of horsemen in grey uniform burst into
the enclosure and rode between the men.
" Walter Stewart," said the sergeant, " I arrest
you upon the charge of violating your parole."
" Can you not wait just one moment until this
business can be dispatched," said Walter calmly.
But the officer spurred away from him with a
curt, " Your business is not ours."
"Never mind, Forsythe," screamed Daniel,
"I'll take the job off of Stewart's hands."
" Lieutenant Forsythe is also under arrest,"
said the sergeant.
Forsythe went very white, but stood calm as
" You took a miserable, cowardly way to save
yourself," he said when he and Walter were
" You are mistaken, lieutenant," said the ser-
geant breaking in, " one of your own men was
The lieutenant bit his lip. The three prison-
ers, for the trooper was also put under arrest,
mounted their horses and were surrounded by a
" Why am I too not arrested ? " stormed the
" We had no orders regarding you, sir," was
AN AFFAIE OF HONOR 227
the reply, and the little cavalcade cantered away,
leaving the physician swearing with feeling and
"Never mind," he said at last. "Let's go
home, Sam. If that old trooper had been a bit
quicker, Virginia might have been rid of the
meanest sneak that ever scourged her; but in-
stead of that, the party is broken up and nobody
gets out of the mess but the doctor and the
darky, neither one worth arresting. Come, let's
After the arrest of Walter, the doctor and
Sam rode back over their tracks one as discon-
solate as the other. It was not a pleasant duty
that loomed up before them in the all too near
future. Walter was gone. He would be missed
and questions would be asked. Then what ?
" Oh, Lord," sighed the doctor, " Sam, what
are we going to do ? What are we going to say
to them when they ask for him ? "
" Well, hit don' seem dey's nuffin else f u' me
to do but to tell de trufe."
" My Lord, you are in desperate straits, that's
always a man's last resort. Now, for my part,
I'd a good deal rather lie if it would do any
good. But the devil's going to be raised, and
they'll be sure to find out. Biff ! there goes my
reputation. I tried to persuade your master to
let me take this business on my hands. It would
have been a good deal better to have faced For-
svthe and have shot him or been shot than to
face these bereaved women. But I'm in for it
now, so come along, Sam. You take a hint from
me. If I decide to tell the truth, you tell it. If
I decide to lie, you fall in and outlie the devil
and stick to it."
As they neared the Stewart home, the spirits
of both of them sank lower still. The sun was
now overhead, and was fast drying the dew-
laden grass by the roadside. The day was clear
and bright, or they might have taken for an ap-
parition the white faced figure that stepped out
in the road before them.
The doctor drew in his horse with an exclama-
tion, and Sam's eyes threatened to leave their
" Where is he ? Where is he ? " cried Dolly.
" What has happened to him ? "
The dumbfounded men gazed first at the
misery-distraught woman, and then, helplessly
at each other.
"Oh, don't keep me in suspense. Tell me,
where is Walter ? " She had thrown aside all
reserve and false modesty, and stood before
them, self-confessed, a woman distressed for the
safety of her lover.
" Why — why — Miss Etheridge," stammered
" You tell me, Sam. I command you to tell
me the truth. I see in Dr. Daniel's eyes his in-
tention to hide something from me."
230 THE FANATICS
The slave looked at his companion for guid-
ance, but getting no help from him, he mum-
bled, " Mas' Walter, w'y, he went wid de loo-
" Went with him ? What do you mean ? Was
he hurt ? Have you deserted him ? Oh, doctor,
please, please tell me. It was for me that he
went into this."
Daniel dismounted, and throwing his bridle
over his arm, he began leading the girl towards
" I'll tell you the truth," he said, and as briefly
and gently as possible, he related what had taken
She heard him through in silence, and then
asked, " What will they do with him ? "
"That I cannot tell, Miss Etheridge, but I
don't see how they can do much when the truth
" But will the truth be known ? "
" I cannot vouch for that, either, but whatever
I can do to make it known, shall be done. I am
going up home to arrange my affairs, so that I
may be away, and then I shall start for Colonel
Braxton's headquarters, whither he will be
" Will you take a letter for me ? "
" With pleasure."
" Thank you, doctor, thank you for your kind-
ness to him and to me. I will have the letter
ready when you return. Good-bye until then."
She was hastening away, but he detained her.
" I am going up to the house," he said.
" You must not, I will break it to them as you
" But do you think it quite right ? " he asked
with a look of relief that belied his anxious
" I can do it better than you. So do not wait
for me. Mount and lose no time." She hurried
on, and he rejoined Sam.
"It's all right, Sam. Just keep your mouth
shut. The telling will be done for us better than
we can do it.
" By Jove," he said later, as he left the servant
at the gate and rode on past. " If I could find a
woman who loved me like that, I'll be hanged if
I wouldn't risk it. I would."
With swift, but reluctant steps, Dolly made
her way homeward and sought out Emily and
her mother. Her face was pale and drawn with
pain and her girl-companion saw at once that
something was wrong.
" What is it, Dolly ? " she asked hastening to
" Let me sit down, I don't know what you will
say to me, Mrs. Stewart, and you, Emily, how
you will feel towards me."
232 THE FANATICS
" Nothing can ever change us towards you,
Dolly, so be calm," said Emily, putting her arms
"I should have told you last night, but he
wouldn't let me, he was afraid you would be
"Is it about Walter ? " exclaimed his mother.
" What has happened to him ? "
" He is at Colonel Braxton's headquarters,
" Under arrest ? " cried the two women.
"But Dolly," said Emily, "how could they
arrest him ? He was paroled."
" Oh, you will think that I am a wicked, heart-
less girl, for it is all my fault."
" Your fault ? How ? " Emily's tone was
colder, and she withdrew her arm from Dolly's
" Don't leave me, Emily, till you understand.
There was a personal encounter last night be-
tween Walter and Lieutenant Forsythe, and it
resulted in a meeting between them this morn-
" A duel ? "
" It would have been, but they were both ar-
rested by a squad this morning and taken away."
" Why did you not tell us this before, Dolly, so
that we might have stopped it ? " said Mrs.
""Walter forbade me and I could not violate
"There are times when even a violation of
confidence might be justifiable."
The girl raised her tear-stained face to the
older woman's. " You do not understand," she
said. " He was involved on my account, and he
trusted me. Suppose I had violated this trust,
told you and the matter had been stopped by
you ? What would they have said ? * His mother
intervened to save him.' Mrs. Stewart, Walter's
honor is as dear to me as to you or Emily, and I
could not do that."
" Forgive me, child, you are right, but this is
" I know it. But though I could not save him
then without dishonor, I shall try to help him
now, by writing the whole story to Colonel
" Who will take it ? "
" Dr. Daniel is going to the camp to intercede
for Walter, and will call for my letter soon. I
will go now and write it. Do try to be calm.
They can't be hard upon him when they know
what a hero he has been."
Mrs. Stewart patted the girl's hand gently and
said, " His mother and sister will try to be as
brave as "
" His sweetheart," cried Dolly, blushing, and
234 THE FANATICS
taking the grey-haired woman in her arms, she
kissed her and sped from the room. Emily
« Why, daughter, how can you laugh at such a
time ? " asked her mother.
" Because I feel so sure that Walter is safe, and
will come back to us unharmed and without dis-
" Don't be sanguine, dear. The conditions of
war are very different from those of peace."
" I know, mother, but would you have had him
do less ? "
" I don't know, and, yes, I do ; your father's
son could have done no less."
It was not long before Dr. Daniel came has-
tening back, but quick as he was, Dolly Etheridge
was ready with her letter.
" I want you to forgive me," he said, " for my
part in this affair, but you must understand that
I am not greatly to blame. I begged Stewart to
let me chip in, but he's an awfully proud fellow,
you see, and he wouldn't let me do it. I was par-
ticularly anxious to get a chance at Forsythe.
But your son, Mrs. Stewart, said it was his quar-
rel, and I could only play second fiddle. To be
sure, I might have locked him in his room and
gone as proxy, but I didn't think he'd like it."
" Why that would have been horrible," ex-
" Yes, but you'd have had your brother with
" We should not have wanted him at that cost,"
was the sister's reply.
" No, Walter has been perfectly right," added
" Perhaps I did the best thing, after all," said
the doctor ruefully ; " but it's pretty hard to see
such a chance escape never to return."
" Had you any quarrel with Lieutenant For-
sythe ? " "
" Oh, no, no special quarrel. It was just gen-
eral principles with me. I really believe the Con-
federate army would have voted your son a medal
if he had rid them of a hound who gained his po-
sition through the worst influence, and holds it
through duplicity. But I mustn't stand here
chattering all morning. I am quite ready to take
your letter, Miss Dolly, and I am sure it will do
as much good as you want it to do."
Miss Etheridge handed him her missive with a
blush. " Bring him back with you," she said.
" Well, I won't promise to do just that, but
if I don't, I'll bring you good news anyhow, and
I won't spare any time in getting this into the
proper hands. Good-morning to you, ladies, and
good cheer," and the good doctor leaped into his
saddle and cantered away, leaving behind him a
cheerier household than he had found.
236 THE FANATICS
It was ten miles to his destination, but he made
short work of it, sent his message through the
lines and received safe conduct to the colonel.
This officer was a grizzled veteran who had seen
service in the Mexican war, and who was bent
on doing for the raw material that he had in
hand what years of service had done for him.
He was as kind of heart as he was brusque of
manner. To him, Dr. Daniel came with his own
story and Dolly's letter, which the colonel read
"You are a friend of the prisoner's, I sup-
pose ? "
" Yes, I haven't known him long, but I have
learned to like him right well."
" Do you know that this liking of yours and
your connection with the affair is likely to in-
volve you in difficulty ? "
"Well, now, I hadn't thought of that, but it
doesn't matter in the least."
The colonel bent industriously over the paper
in his hand, and a smile nickered through his
"Are you acquainted also with Lieutenant
Forsythe ? "
Daniel straightened himself up angrily. "I
" I said Lieutenant Forsythe."
" Beg pardon, colonel, but "
" Enough, suh. Who is this Miss Etheridge ? "
" She's a daughter of old Nelson Etheridge, of
" Who was related, I believe, to the Etheridges
of Mecklenbu'g county ? "
" Well, sir, I'm not just up on genealogy, and
all that sort o' thing, but I dare say you're right.
Most all Virginians are related, you know. It's
become a state habit."
Again the colonel had recourse to the papers
to hide his amusement. When he looked up
again, he said,
" I shall have to detain you, Dr. Daniel, until
I look further into this case. Discipline has been
altogether too lax here of late, and while disaffec-
tion has not become common in Virginia, there is
altogether too great a tendency towards it."
" I hope you don't feel any doubt about me,
colonel ? "
" It isn't a matter of personal feeling."
" Of course not, I ought to have known that.
In fact, I did know it, and yet I feel that you are
saying, ' What is an able-bodied fellow like that
doing at home ? 9 Well, I'm not home for choice
or for all time. Yet there are some things to be
done before I can go where the rest of the fel-
lows of my age are. There are women and chil-
dren to be looked after and dosed. Until now,
there have been things outside of the army that
238 THE FANATICS
I could do for Yirginia, but as soon as a breath-
ing time comes, I shall be where I should be."
The colonel's eyes were very bright as he looked
at the young man, but he only said, " JSTo doubt,"
and called an officer to take Daniel away.
" There's a man who would make a good
fighter, but a damned bad soldier," was the
veteran's mental comment. " He's too free and
" Bring in the prisoner, Stewart," was his com-
mand to the orderly.
The appearance of Walter was hardly that of
a felon when he came into the presence of the
commanding officer. His eyes were clear, his
head high and his step firm. There was no sign
of fear in the manner in which he met his judge's
" Your name is ? "
" Walter Stewart."
"And you were until first taken, a soldier of
the Northern army ? "
" I was."
" You were taken when within the Confederate
lines, and were paroled when you might have
been dealt with as a spy."
" My business within your lines was perfectly
"That does not alter the case. You were
paroled and violated the parole."
" I do not feel that the latter is the case, sir."
" What ? " cried the colonel sternly. " Do you
dare to deny it ? "
" I deny none of the facts of the case, sir, I
only question their construction."
" You have no right to question, suh, you are a
prisoner to be judged. The case to my mind is
perfectly clear against you."
" You are the judge," said Walter calmly.
" You were found, suh, in the very act of an
encounter with a Confederate officer, after hav-
ing assaulted him on the night before. We con-
sider, suh, that you have violated your parole, and
broken your word of honor."
" When Yirginia thinks that by protecting a
defenceless woman, a man tarnishes his honor or
forfeits his word, I begin to feel sorry for my
" Suh, you are not the gyardian of Virginia's
" I am the custodian of my own, though."
" Then you should have seen better to it than
to have broken your parole. You know the con-
" I am not afraid of the consequences. I am
willing to abide by them. But I do not think
that I have violated my parole. I have not
taken up arms against the Confederate states,
unless they are warring against their own de-
240 THE FANATICS
fenceless women. Nor have I given aid or com-
fort to your enemies, unless you consider as an
enemy, a woman who has never by word or deed
shown anything but allegiance to the South she
" Ahem ! " said the colonel.
" Furthermore, my quarrel, my encounter, was
not against your government, but against the
injustice of one man. It was not an encounter
involving national views, but a purely personal
" In troublous times like these, no encounter
with an officer of ours can be considered as
" I hope, sir, that you have not also suspended
the rule in regard to respect for women."
" You are pleased to be impertinent, and yet I
answuh that I hope Virginia will never be guilty
of that." Walter bowed.
" I understand that you are a son of the late
Colonel Stewart, a Virginia gentleman ? "
" I was never more his son than now."
" I doubt that. I knew your father."
" My father, placed in the same position I was,
would, I believe, have acted as I did."
" Without doubt — I beg your pardon," the
colonel checked himself. "But yours are rules
of civil life, and your laws are for civilians ; at
present, we are under military rule."
" Having been a soldier, I understand that. I
am in your hands."
"Sergeant of the guard, you will hold the
prisoner under arrest until further orders. I will
look into your case and consider it further.
Retire. A moment, sergeant." The non-com-
missioned officer paused just out of ear-shot of
Walter, and the colonel whispered, " Treat him
well, sergeant, he's a Stewart cleah through."
After the dismissal of "Walter, Lieutenant For-
sythe was brought into the colonel's presence.
The conference between him and his superior
officer was short and decisive.
" Lieutenant Forsythe, you gave as your rea-
son for entering the house of Miss Etheridge,
that you were on a search for her brother."
"You were not aware that her brother had
been for some time in the Union army ? "
" I had received reliable information that led
me to believe that he had returned and was in
hiding at home."
" After gaining entrance into the house, why
did you insist upon Miss Etheridge's accompany-
ing you in your search ? "
Forsythe hesitated and turned color under the
" I wished to be able to watch her face and so
tell when I was upon the scent."
242 THE FANATICS
" Why, when you had the chance to search the
house without her, did you not do it ? "
" I was sure her brother had been given time
and opportunity to escape."
" Now, Lieutenant Forsythe, will you tell me
by whose orders you went upon this search for
Nelson Etheridge ? "
" I thought that the capture of an enemy
" Will you answer my question ? "
" Upon no one's specific orders, but
"No buts about it. I am answuhed. Were
you ever a suitor for Miss Etheridge's hand ? "
" I consider that a personal question, sir."
Forsythe saw that the hope for him was gone
and he could be no worse off by taking a stand
on dignified effrontery.
" Oh, you consider it a personal question ? "
" I do, and one that has nothing to do with my
" And as such, you refuse to answuh it ? Very
well. You have no doubt understood the rules
of this command in regyard to the treatment of
women ? "
"Yes— but "
" That will do, Lieutenant Forsythe. A court-
martial will attend to your case."
The lieutenant saluted and was taken away
under guard. Walter and Dr. Daniel were then
" Young man," said the colonel to the former,
" I regret that I find cause neither to hold nor to
punish you. I regret, too, that you have chosen
a course alien to your father's traditions and be-
liefs. But that, of course, is not my affair. I
advise you, in the future, however, to keep cleah
of collisions with our officers, or the next time
you may not get off so easily."
Walter felt it the part of wisdom to make no
reply, and so merely bowed.
" You, Dr. Daniel," said the colonel, turning to
the physician, " will always find a welcome here,
and whenever, if ever, you choose to throw your
lot in with us, I hope to have you in my
" Thank you, colonel, thank you, sir."
The two men were conducted safely away from
camp and set on their homeward way.
" By Jove, Stewart," said the doctor heartily,
" I wish you weren't a Yankee ! "
" I'm hardly a Yankee, doctor, as you use the
term. But knowing Ohio, and knowing Vir-
ginia through such men as you, I am more than
ever for the Union that will keep two such
states together, let that Union be bought at
whatever price it may."
The two men clasped hands across their saddle
bows. The physician took Walter's praise as in-
genuously as a child.
244 THE FANATICS
" I wish," he said, " that more Northerners
knew us Southerners."
" If the two sections did know each other
better, a deal of blood might be saved."
It was a grave ride home, but the rejoicings at
the end of the journey compensated for all the
serious thought along the way.
"Bless you, Dr. Daniel," said Mrs. Stewart
" Oh, don't thank me, Mrs. Stewart. I'm not a
drop in the bucket. It was Miss Dolly's letter
that fixed everything."
" Dolly's letter ! " cried Walter.
The girl blushed, and the doctor added,
" Maybe I'm telling tales out of school."
" You shall tell me about it, Dolly," said Wal-
ter with glowing eyes. This was perhaps only
an excuse to lead her away from the rest for a
walk in the arbor. What excuse Dr. Daniel
gave for leading Emily in an opposite direction
matters not, but it must have been satisfactory,
for Mrs. Stewart found the housewife's excuse of
her work to leave them, and the doctor stayed to
THE VISION OF THE BLACK RIDER
Despite the apparent cheerfulness with which
Mary Waters went her way in the Woods house-
hold, she was not entirely her own old self.
There was an air about her not so much of sad-
ness as of repression. She tried, as well as the
circumstances of the household allowed, to be
alone, although Nannie, feeling that brooding
over her experiences must be unprofitable to her
friend, attempted to correct this tendency in her.
She was not always successful, for notwithstand-
ing the pliancy of her disposition with those
whom she loved, Bradford Waters' daughter had
something of a will of her own, and there were
times when she would elude Nannie's vigilance
or repel her advances and wander away to in-
dulge her moods to herself.
As the midsummer approached, she grew rest-
less and preoccupied and often she would awake
Nannie at night by starting up with cries of
terror. But on being questioned, the only reply
246 THE FANATICS
she would make was that she had been dreaming.
Her dreams she would not tell at first.
Finally, the fancy so grew upon her that
Nannie began to tax her with keeping something
back. Mary continued reticent, but worn and
weak, she at last surrendered to her friend's
" You've just got to tell me what it is, Mary
Waters," said Nannie. " Something is troubling
your mind, and you are troubling mine."
" But it's such a foolish thing, Nannie."
" I don't care. Folly is none the worse for
being shared with some one."
" Do you believe in dreams ? "
" I don't know, tell me yours, and I'll see. If
I believe it means anything, I'll tell you, hon-
estly, I will."
" Well, I have the vision of a black rider that
continually comes to me in a sort of stupor that
I experience between sleeping and waking. I
cannot describe what I mean nor the feeling of
it. But I know I am not asleep nor yet awake.
The rider is always going along a dark road, and
he comes up and holds out his arms to me. His
face is covered, but I know him. It is the form
of Kobert Yan Doren. But before I can touch
his hand, he is gone, and when I call out after
him, everything grows utterly black and I am
awake with a terrible misgiving at my heart.
VISION OF THE BLACK RIDER 247
Oh, I am afraid something has happened to
The girl seldom let herself out so fully, and
Nannie saw that she was terribly wrought up.
" It is nothing, Mary," she said. " You've
been brooding too much and it has made you
nervous and sleepless. It will all come right if
you try not to worry and wonder too much."
" I knew you would say that and I would
rather not have told you."
" Don't be offended, dear. "What I say is only
for the best. It is what Tom would say to you
if he were here."
" Yes, that's true, for he would understand no
better than you, Nannie. There is with me
something more than the dream — a feeling here,"
she pressed her hand to her breast, " a peculiar
ache that isn't so much an ache as a premonition
of one. You don't know what I mean, but I
" I think I almost understand. It's the same
feeling that I have in my feet just before I step
on the jack in your father's warehouse."
Mary looked up quickly to see if her friend
was joking, but the eyes that met her own were
perfectly serious, and though she could not
vouch for the correctness of the likeness, she felt
that somehow, Nannie understood.
"But," the latter pursued, "I never let the
248 THE FANATICS
feeling in my foot get the better of me, and
neither must you give way to that in your heart.
It may be there, and it may seem something, but
just keep on going."
" That's hardly necessary advice," smiled
Mary. " It's the one thing that we have to do
in life, keep on going. No matter how many
presentiments you have, you've got to go on to
their fulfillment. That's one thing that gives me
the horrors at times until I want to shriek aloud
— this unending forward movement. If one
could only stop sometimes — but we can't."
" Don't, Mary, don't ; there are some things
that we must neither think nor talk about, some
things that we must leave to a Higher Intelli-
gence than ours."
" But suppose that one does think about them,
that one cannot help it — that everything suggests
these thoughts ? "
" Oh, in that case, one goes out into the open
air with me, walks down to the shop, and as she
has a quick eye, helps me match some goods,"
and seeking to divert her mind from the gloomy
thoughts that were taking possession of it, Nannie
hurried Mary into her hat and out upon the
The day was full of sunshine, but the air was
limpid with the suggestion of rain, and a soft
breeze blew up from the river. The town was
VISION OF THE BLACK EIDER 249
humming and drowsing comfortably, and there
was nothing in its appearance to indicate that
just a little below the surface there smouldered
volcanic fires of discontent and unrest. The
whole place was the embodiment of peace. The
blinds of the houses were closed to keep out the
garish sunlight and the most active sign of life
upon the resident streets was the young children
playing in the gutters and on the pavements.
Something of the restfulness of the scene pos-
sessed Mary and for the time drove the clouds
from her mind. The bright day and her fore-
bodings did not set well together. Could it be
true that on such a morning as this with such a
sky overhead men could be hating each other
and seeking each others' lives? Her mind re-
jected the incongruity. After all, the darkest
hour is just before dawn. She had been going
through her dark hour and now all the bright-
ness and beauty about her were but the promise
of the better time coming. She went into the
shop with Nannie stepping lightly and with a
smile on her face.
Though poetry has told us that coming events
cast their shadows before them, science has not
troubled itself to deal largely with this subject
of premonition, nor is it believable that those
shadows are cast upon all hearts. But there is
little doubt that to some there is given the added
250 THE FANATICS
sorrow of feeling the approach of catastrophe
some time before the fact. Call it presentiment
or what you will, there are those who are capable
of feeling disaster before it comes. Of these,
was Mary Waters, and bright as her face had
been when she entered the shop with Nannie
the clouds had settled upon it again when she
" Let us walk up Main street," she said, and
her companion agreed.
Nannie chatted on cheerfully because she had
not noted Mary's return to her former depression.
Had she only looked at her companion's gloomy
face, her flow of talk would have been checked.
Mary's eyes were fastened upon a knot of people
surrounding a bulletin board in front of the
" Something is wrong," said Mary suddenly,
breaking in on her friend's talk.
" "Why do you think so ? " asked the surprised
" Look at the crowd up there. Let us go and
Reluctantly Nannie complied and they were
soon on the outskirts of the growing crowd.
They could not get near enough to see the words
on the board, but some one read aloud for the
benefit of the late comers the words that made
Mary pale with terror and turn hastily way.
VISION OF THE BLACK EIDER 251
" John Morgan with his cavalry has crossed the
river and is advancing into Ohio."
" John Morgan is in Ohio, and Robert is with
him — my vision, the Black Rider." The dis-
jointed words beat time to the throbbing of her
heart. " John Morgan is in Ohio and Robert is
The news spread like wildfire and already the
town was alive with people hastening to the
centre of intelligence. The drowsy summer
quiet had gone from the streets as if by magic,
and instead there were the shuffling of feet and
the babble of many tongues. But Mary did not
speak and Nannie gave her the sympathy of si-
lence. Only when they were in the house again
did she say, " I shall never question your feelings
again. Never." Then with rare good sense, she
left Mary to herself.
The shock, coming as it had, as a confirmation
of her fears and holding in it unknown possibili-
ties for trouble had a severe effect upon the girl.
She was distressed for the safety of her lover,
but not only that, for a new element had entered
into her feelings. Heretofore, she had had little
or no doubt as to the righteousness of her loyalty
to Robert. But now it was a very different
thing. He was no longer a brave man exiled
and driven into the army of the enemy. He
was now the invader of his own home and hers.
252 THE FANATICS
As long as he fought on the soil of his father's
state against invasion, he might still have her
love and sympathy ; but did he not, by this last
act, forfeit both? Reasoning with a woman's
narrow vision, she admitted his right to defend
himself and those he loved against the govern-
ment, but questioned his privilege to attack it.
It is not to be denied that sentiment had much
to do with Mary's point of view. In one role,
Robert was the prince, in the other, the ogre,
and she could not quite reconcile herself to sym-
pathy with the ogre. It was rather a nice ques-
tion to ask her to decide whether the right of de-
fence did not carry with it the right of attack.
There was something of horror in the picture she
drew of him, riding a marauder over the fields of
the state that had so long sheltered him. In her
mind, the whole invasion was narrowed down to
one man. It was not Morgan and his men — it
was Robert — Robert, for whom she had left
home, for whom she had suffered contempt.
What did it matter to her that John Morgan
was with him ? What did it matter to her that
he was one of two thousand ? Then her trend
of thought began to change. Had he not been
forced to go where he was? She remembered
his words to her father on that memorable night.
" The Confederacy may thank you for another
recruit ! " Must he not do then as his comrades
VISION OF THE BLACK EIDER 253
did ? Would it not be cowardice in him to re-
fuse to go where they went? Would he do
wrong consciously? She could not believe it.
After all, she loved him and she would trust him
blindly, whatever happened. The inevitable
thing occurred. Her love triumphed. She need
have asked herself no perplexing questions had
she only begun with, " Is my love for him strong
enough to overlook all shortcomings ? " With
Nannie in the same case, it would have been
different. There would have been no questions
at all. She would merely have said, " Well, if
lie does it, it must be right," and gone on with
a contented mind. Even Mary was happier for
her decision, though she reached it after much
Dorbury heard of the rebel general's daring
dash into Ohio with an astonishment that was
only equalled by its anger and terror. There
had been threats and rumors of some danger
from Kentucky, but the possibility of it had been
beyond belief. Now that the thing had really
come, men stood aghast. Men who had scoffed
before, now became suddenly serious. Men who
had wavered in their allegiance, now spoke out
boldly for the Union when their homes were
menaced. On every side was the cry " The
Home Guards, the Home Guards," and old men,
middle-aged men and beardless youths went
254 THE FANATICS
flocking into the armory. " Be sure," said some,
" if he dares cross into Ohio, there are more be-
hind him, and it means that they intend to over-
whelm the state ! " Others said, " They will burn
Cincinnati, strike here, unless we can check them,
march on and destroy the capital."
On any corner, sane men, fanatics and dema-
gogues could secure audiences to listen to their
oratory, in which they adjured their hearers to
rise in their might and drive the invader from
their sacred soil.
There were some men in the town who smiled
and added, " It is a feint, let Morgan come. He
will not come far." There were not many of
them. There were others who gathered behind
the closed blinds of Stephen Yan Doren's house
to talk of this new development. To them Yan
Doren spoke confidentially. "I deplore this
move," he said. " It will take away sympathy
from the cause of the South, although Morgan is
only doing what Lincoln has done in the South.
It is a sorry matter all through, for we have been
plunged into a war that might have been averted
by able statesmanship. If worst comes to worst,
we have only our government to thank, and yet
it is a bad thing, for nothing will do more to
cement a feeling of clannishness in the North and
give these fanatics something to point to than
this same attempt to fight the devil with fire."
VISION OF THE BLACK EIDER 255
Among all the crowding men, the believers in
different creeds, walked Bradford Waters like an
Elijah among the prophets of Baal. The news
was to him as the battle-smoke to the nostrils of
the war-horse. He seemed like one inspired, and
it was as if the things that he had longed for had
been done. There was a look of exaltation on
his face, but his was an emotion too deep for
words, though none who saw him needed speech
In her bedroom, his daughter sat staring si-
lently out of her window, not thinking — hardly
dreaming — and so night fell on Dorbury.
A VAGUE QUEST
It is doubtful how long Mary would have sat
staring out into the darkness had not the en-
trance of Nannie and her preparations for bed
disturbed her revery. She also disrobed and was
soon lying in bed, her eyes wide open and her
thoughts busy with the events of the day. She
did not want to talk and so made but brief re-
plies to Nannie's proffers of conversation. Fi-
nally, from feigning sleep, she fell into a light
doze from which she started crying, " The Black
Rider ! The Black Rider ! "
The experiences of the last few hours had ex-
hausted Nannie, and though it was yet early in
the evening, she was sleeping soundly. Mary re-
covered herself, and finding that she was not ob-
served, crept stealthily from the bed. She
paused for awhile beside the window, and then
dressed with feverish haste as if spurred by a defi-
nite purpose. When she was fully clothed she
stepped quietly down the stairway, and past the
sitting-room where some of the family were still
up, and glided out of the house. Why she
A VAGUE QUEST 257
was doing so, she herself could not have told,
but something was dragging or driving her on,
on, towards the station. She had yet no fixed
idea where she was going, but she felt in her
pocket for money and it never occurred to her
until she found the amount of her fare that from
the beginning she had intended to go to Cincin-
nati, though that she did not yet know, the tend-
ency towards a definite act being rather subcon-
scious than apprehended. There was just time
to catch the half-past ten train. She reached
the station, bought her ticket and sank breath-
less and dazed into a seat.
There was a moment's delay, and then the
train sped away into the darkness. The sum of
all her impressions was that the Black Eider
whose face was still concealed from her, flitted
ever by the side of the coach and just at her
window. The lights of the town faded from
view and the river lay behind her a line of sinu-
ous silver. The sky overhead was besprent with
pale stars, but she saw only the cloaked and muffled
man, riding, riding as one rides in a nightmare.
The train whistled, wheezed and paused at sta-
tions, and then went panting on, and Mary,
knowing as little, feeling hardly more than the
dumb mechanism that carried her, went on upon
a vague, unknown quest, for what, she could not
258 THE FANATICS
Prompting her action there was apparently
no cause or intelligence. Scarcely was there
even volition. Some force, stronger and wiser
than she, good or malignant, impelled her for-
ward whether she would or no. She went on
not because she would, but because she must.
The night became suddenly overcast, the sky
darkened, the stars went out, and as the train
flew on its way southward, a peal of thunder
broke from the heavens, and sharp rain began
pattering against the window. She crouched
lower in her seat and stared ever out through the
pane where she could see the mantled figure
riding, riding. She could hear his horse's hoof-
beats above the sound of the storm, and her eyes
sought vainly his face, though she knew and
could not be deceived in the form.
When the coach drew into Cincinnati, she
alighted and still blind, dazed and apparently
without direction, hastened out and took a car.
The night was one of inky blackness, the rain
was coming down in torrents, while intermittent
flashes of lightning showed her the wet and shin-
ing streets and the roadways through which she
was passing. At the call, Avondale, she left the
car and went on blindly into the night.
Terror now seized her, terror of the unknown,
of the darkness, of the mystery in her own wild
act ; but she could not stop nor turn back. Was
A YAGUE QUEST 259
she fleeing from or to something ? Once in a
moment of consciousness, she asked herself the
question, but hurried on without answering or
attempting to answer it. On, through the little
suburban village and out upon a country road, a
mile out ; the last house had been passed, the
last light had flickered out of her sight, and then
drenched, exhausted, she paused under a huge oak
and turned her eyes back over the way she had
come. It was not weariness that made her stop,
it was a sense of waiting, waiting for something,
the thing for which she had come. It was per-
haps a half hour that she had stood there, and
then the sound of clattering hoofs struck her ear.
She pressed closer to the tree. A company of
cavalrymen were approaching. They came at a
smart canter. Breathlessly, she awaited. They
were near to her. They were passing, first close
together, then with gaps between, then scatter-
ingly. With her physical ear she heard the
sound of their hoof-beats in the soft, slushy mud,
but with her inner sense, she heard the sound of
one horse on dry ground, and her eyes saw but
one rider, still the black mantled figure of her
dreams. She heard him, saw him coming nearer,
nearer, then a flash of lurid lightning lit the
whole scene, and starting forward from the tree,
she cried, " Robert, Robert ! "
As if but one man had heard her, as if her
260 THE FANATICS
voice had been intended to reach but one, a
figure shrouded in a dark cloak, whirled and rode
from the straggly ranks up to the side of the
road and dismounted. She stretched her arms
out. Another flash of lightning showed the
trooper the white face of the girl beside the tree,
and with a cry he caught her to him as she fell
" Mary, Mary," he cried, " can it be you ? Are
you flesh or spirit? My God, what does it
mean ? " But she was lying cold in his arms.
The cavalry passed on, stragglers and all. He
stood there helplessly holding her, one hand
clutching his horse's bridle. The rain from the
leaves dripped in her face, and she revived.
" Robert," she said faintly.
" What are you doing here ? " he asked.
" I — I — don't know. I dreamed of you and I
came. Where am I ? "
" On the road out of Cincinnati, about two
miles from Avondale. Who came with you ? "
" I came alone."
" Where are you going ? "
" I don't know. Something sent me to you."
" You are very weak," he said.
" I must go back now," she replied.
" Where will you go ? "
" I don't know."
The power that had driven her out, that had
A VAGUE QUEST 261
guided her seemed suddenly to have left her help-
less and without direction.
The men now were entirely passed, and without a
word, he lifted her to his saddle and springing
up behind her, turned his horse's head back to-
wards the town.
" God knows what brought you here, darling,"
he whispered close to her ear, " but it was some-
thing stronger and wiser than us both. It has
been a long, hard ride with me, and I was losing
hold, but you have given me strength again.
People have heard our horses and are aroused, but
I will take you back where you will be safe.
Another day," he bent over and kissed her brow,
" when all of this is over, you shall tell me how
and why you came to me, love of my heart."
She nestled closer to him and did not answer.
There was nothing for her to say, she did not
understand, he did not understand. He rode
straight into the town. Dark forms were gath-
ering upon the corners. Here and there a torch
" I must leave you now, Mary," he said, " the
power that brought you will care for you. I
must join my company. God be with you."
He set her down and was wheeling away, when
a torch beside him flared. A man cried, " Here's
one of them ! "
Van Doren struck spurs to his horse and the
262 THE FANATICS
animal clashed away. A hue and cry arose.
There was a volley of shots, and the night swal-
lowed the Black Eider. A crowd surrounded
Mary and led her speechless and confused to the
nearest house. A few of the bolder spirits fol-
lowed the rider on foot, until the sound of his
horse's hoofs had died away into the distance.
The girl could not give any clear account of
herself except that she had come from Dor bury
and had wandered out of her way. Kind
matrons put her to bed where she fell asleep like
a child, though she would have rested less easily
had she known that Robert was swaying, white-
faced in his saddle, his arm shattered by a bullet.
All night long, men full of alarm, patroled the
streets of the village fearing and expecting an
attack, while women stayed up and brewed tea
and talked of their night visitor. When Mary
awoke in the morning, the events of the night
before were like a dream to her, and though the
women questioned her closely and eagerly she
was able to give them little or nothing of the
satisfaction for which they longed. It was all
so strange, so unbelievable, that she did not dare
tell them all that had really happened. There
were some who said that she must be a spy, and
there were threats of detaining her, but she made
it clear where she lived, mentioning the names
of people whom several of them knew, and so
A YAGUE QUEST 263
they put her down as some demented or half-
witted creature who had lost her way and been
rescued by the trooper in grey.
" Well, the hound will have one thing to his
credit," said the husband of the woman at
whose house she had slept.
Her head clear, the girl was anxious now to
return to her home. The busy little matron, still
suspecting her sanity, insisted on going with her
as far as the train, where with many head-shakes
and mysterious comments, she put Mary in
charge of the conductor and went away trembling
for the safety of her protegee.
The whole Woods household was in an uproar
of excitement and Nannie was blaming herself
keenly for negligence when Mary walked in.
" Oh, Mary, Mary," cried her friend at sight of
her, " where have you been ? You've given us
such a fright. We've searched everywhere for
But Mary only smiled and kept her counsel.
" I had to go away," she said.
" What time did you leave ? "
Mary smiled again. A little later a message
came from Bradford Waters saying, " Have you
found Mary yet ? "
Nannie blushed. " We thought you had gone
homeland so we went there."
" I was not at home," was the only answer.
264 THE FANATICS
Whatever it may have meant, the girl herself
was never able to explain it, but Mary saw no
more visions and she was happier.
The puzzle was deep in Robert's mind as he
rode away from the girl, leaving her to the
mercies of the gaping townspeople. He had no
doubt that they would treat her kindly and send
her home in safety. But the thought that held
him and made him forget even the pain in his
arm that grew and grew was how she had come
there. How had she known where to find him,
when even the troopers themselves did not know
whither they were tending ? Who gave the sim-
ple, emotional girl the information that the gov-
ernor of Ohio would have given so much to have ?
There was nothing in the range of Robert's ex-
perience to explain the phenomenon, so although
he hugged the memory of her presence to his
consciousness, he gave up speculation to wait for
that later day when he had said she would tell
him. His thoughts now had time to revert to
his wound, and he found that his sleeve was
soaked with blood that was fast stiffening in
spite of the constant downpour. The absorption
of his attention no longer kept his misery in sub-
ordination. He began to feel fainter and
fainter, but clenched his teeth and laid his head
upon the neck of his good mare. A mile more,
and the sound of moving men came to his ears.
A VAGUE QUEST 265
Then he gained upon them faster and knew that
they had halted for the night. His head was
ringing like a chime of bells. His heart throbbed
painfully and his tongue was parched. Heavier
and heavier he lay upon the mare's neck, and
when finally the animal halted in the hastily im-
provised camp, it was an inert body that had
to be lifted from her back.
Already Mary was quietly sleeping in the
friendly house and no dream or vision told her
of the lover who was to ride no more with John
Morgan, but unknown, was to be nursed back to
life by a good-hearted farmer and his wife.
THE HOMECOMING OF THE CAPTAIN
Through the newspapers, and an occasional
letter from the field, Bradford Waters was kept
advised of the movements of his son. With his
regiment, he had taken part in the engagements at
Pittsburg Landing, and in all the active opera-
tions of the Army of Ohio, or, as it was finally
rechristened, the Army of the Cumberland. He
had distinguished himself in the terrible fight of
the 19th of July, and it was as a captain that he
lay with his company at Chattanooga Creek, en-
couraging his men by example not to flinch under
the awful fire which the Confederate batteries
poured upon them.
Dorbury knew the privations through which
her boys were going, the long marches when both
rest and refreshment were denied, the hardships
of camp and field and the heroism of patient en-
durance. Then began that gradual turn of senti-
ment and feeling for which the battle of Pitts-
burg Landing and Morgan's raid had proved the
cue. Another wave of enthusiasm for her
HOMECOMING OF THE CAPTAIN 267
patriotic sons swept over the town, and this time,
had permanent effect. Even Davies scoffed no
longer and spoke of " our boys " in a tone that
led Waters to forgive all his past transgressions.
Tom had always been a favorite at home, but
men spoke his name now with a new affection.
After each new engagement in which his regi-
ment was known to have taken a part, there
were numerous inquiries at the Waters house as
to how "the captain" had fared. He was no
longer a family idol. He had become a public
This pride in a young man's success, is, after
all, of the vanity which is human. Something
of credit seems to accrue to the man himself
when he can say, " What ! Captain , why
I knew him when he was a boy ! "
Behind closed doors, Stephen Yan Doren sat
and read the papers. He had the largeness of
heart that made him respect a brave man wher-
ever placed, and now he felt a real pride in the
son of his enemy. To be sure, in his heart, he
had misgivings and wished time and again that
he might read something of his own son of
whose whereabouts he knew nothing. There
had come one brief letter some time before the
raid, and since that, nothing. Why couldn't his
Bob be a captain, too? His anxiety was shared
in some degree by Mary, but the pride which
268 THE FANATICS
she took in her brother and which Nannie con-
stantly nourished, left her little time for brooding.
The summer wore away amid rumors of bat-
tles, reconnoissances, and skirmishes. The golden
autumn came, and although so many of the hus-
bandmen were away reaping strange harvests in a
strange land, the land smiled with the fullness of
things, and the ring of scythes could be heard afield.
Over the little town, over the fair meadows that
surrounded it, the sun of plenty hung and drove
away the darkness that the preceding summer
had known. Morgan had come and gone and
they felt no fear of another such invasion.
Terror was dead and the people bent themselves
joyously to the task of supplying whatever wants
those at the front expressed. They rested in a
content and security that even the imminence of
a battle at Mission Ridge in which their " Own "
might be engaged failed wholly to destroy.
Orchard Knob had dealt kindly with them, and
they began to think of their soldiers as each an
Achilles with the vulnerable heel secure. Then
like a tempest from a cloudless sky came the
news of the battle of November 25th, and Dor-
bury was silent from sheer amazement. Could
this thing really have happened to them and
theirs ? They looked down the list of the dead
and wounded again. So many of the names
were familiar. So many were those whom they
HOMECOMING OF THE CAPTAIN 269
thought to see again. Tom Waters, Captain.
Tom, could it be ? Their young hero ? They
began to awake, and with the awakening the
place became as a house of mourning. The
bulletin boards were surrounded by hushed,
awe-stricken men, while women with white
faces, hastened up to hear the latest from the
It was Davies, who having heard the news,
went over to break it to Bradford Waters. He
had not left his office at the warehouse,, and
only knew from vague rumors that a battle had
taken place. He was hastening through to get
out and hear the particulars, when Davies en-
tered, his white face speaking for him before his
lips could utter a sound. Waters sprang to his
feet, and then sank back into a chair.
" There has been a battle, they tell me," he
" Yes," said Davies, with dry lips.
"Was — was — Tom's name mentioned?" He
asked the question mechanically as if he already
knew the answer that was coming.
Davies was trembling, the tears filled his eyes
as he went over and laid his hand on the other's
" Yes," he answered. " Tom — the captain's
name, Waters, is among the killed."
An ashen pallor spread over Waters' seamed
270 THE FANATICS
face and his hard hands gripped the desk in front
of him fiercely. He breathed heavily but did
"Come, Bradford, come out in the air with
Waters rose, but there was a knock at the
door, and opening it a messenger confronted
him. It was a telegram from Tom's colonel.
The old man could hardly read the words, his
hand trembled so. But he made out that they
were sending him home. Then Davies saw the
man's form straighten up and his eye flash as
with a clear voice he read, " Killed, while lead-
ing a gallant charge." " Thank God, Davies, he
died like a soldier."
There was not a tear in Waters' eye, though
pride and grief struggled for mastery in his
voice. Davies, who under all his cynical indif-
ference was as soft-hearted as a woman, was
weeping like a child.
"I gave him unreservedly," the bereaved
father went on, " and he has given me nothing
to regret. Come on, I must go home, I must
set my house in order to receive my son, the
They went out of the house together, Bradford
Waters' face set and firm. Men looked at him
shyly upon the street and greeted him briefly.
They knew how deeply he had loved his son, and
HOMECOMING OF THE CAPTAIJST 271
feared a break down of his self-control. Men are
always cowards in the face of grief. But their
caution was unnecessary. Waters returned their
civility with a poise of manner almost stern.
What had he to weep for ? He had laid his son
upon the altar, and he had proven an acceptable
sacrifice. Other men might weep for craven
sons who had left the fighting to others or who
had trembled under fire. As for him, he must
be strong. He must walk among men with a high
head and a step that showed him worthy to be
the father of such a son.
Davies left him at the door of his house. He
heard him say as he entered, "You must look
sharp, Martha, and have everything in good
order. The captain is coming home."
The light was fast fading from the room where
Waters sat down, but a ray of gold came in
through the window and touched the pictured
face of the dead soldier in its place on the
mantel. The father rose and taking it down
held it close to his breast. " I gave you to them,
boy," he murmured, " and they took you, but
they cannot, they can never take the memory of
you from, me."
Some one knocked, and a moment later Martha
came in, saying, " A gentleman to see you, Mr.
With perfect self-possession he passed into the
272 THE FANATICS
next room, where in the dimness a man stood
" I have dared to come, Bradford," said Stephen
Yan Doren's voice, " because I knew, and we
both loved the boy. I thought maybe we
could shake hands over the memory of a brave
Waters' form trembled like an aspen. He
paused in silence, and the moment was full of im-
port. It was to say what the course of his whole
future life would be. Whether the iron of his
nature would be melted or annealed by the fire
through which he was passing. He took a step
forward and grasped Van Doren's outstretched
" I am glad you came, Stephen," he said ; " he
was a brave boy, and you loved him, too."
" No one could help loving him. He was one
man among a thousand who was fine enough for
the sacrifice. Whether my son be alive or dead,
may I always have as little right to sorrow for
him as you have for yours to-night."
Stephen Yan Doren's voice was low, earnest
and impressive, and it broke down something that
had stood up very hard and stern in Bradford
Waters' spirit. The tears welled up into his eyes
and fell unheeded down his cheeks. He wrung
Yan Doren's hand.
" You must stay and talk to me of him, of both
HOMECOMING OF THE CAPTAIN 273
of them. Our boys fought on different sides,
Stephen, but they were both ours."
"In a time like this, before an example of
bravery, we forget sides and differences and only
remember our boys and our love for them."
For awhile they sat and talked of the dead,
and of him of whose whereabouts they as yet
knew nothing, and Waters' heart was lightened
" You must go away," he said at last to his
visitor, " I have another thing that I must do.
Maybe, after all, Stephen, there is a deeper
meaning in this sacrifice than either of us yet
" May God grant it," was the fervent response.
" When you hear from Bob, let me know at
once. You know he was Tom's friend," he added,
As soon as Yan Doren was gone, he gave the
servant some directions, and then set out for
Nathan Woods' house, which was no less than
his own a place of bereavement. The entire
household was grief -stricken. The two girls bad
mingled their tears and sought vainly to comfort
each other in their sorrow. Mary was fairly ex-
hausted from her grief, and Nannie, seeing that,
recovered herself sufficiently to minister to the
When Mary found out that her father was be-
274 THE FANATICS
low and asking for her, she sprang up with wild
eyes and fluttering heart.
" Oh, he has come to reproach me," she said.
" He will never forgive me."
" There is no reproach in his face, Mary. I
think he wants you to be with him when Tom
Nannie's voice reassured her, and together they
went down hand in hand. When his daughter
came into the room, Bradford Waters held forth
his arms, and with a cry that was half grief, half
joy, she flung herself into them.
" Father, father," she sobbed, " what shall we
do without him ? "
" What would his country have done without
him, my dear ? It has taken him, and we must
give him ungrudgingly."
Nannie was leaving the room, but with a new
softness, a quality his voice had never known, he
put out his hand to her.
"Come, my other daughter," he said, "you
loved him too."
For the three, then, there was no past, no dif-
ference, no wrong. They were all members of
one family bound more strongly by a great love
and a great grief. There was a strange similarity
apparent in the attitude of Nannie and Bradford
Waters towards Tom's death. While Mary
thought almost solely of the brother she had lost,
HOMECOMING OF THE CAPTAIN 275
they both seemed to say, " We are glad to give
him, since we may give him thus."
" Come, let us go home," said "Waters, " there
is much to do. Mary, come. Nannie, you must
go with us. We must go and make ready to re-
ceive the captain."
And together they went with him to receive
The strange idea took Bradford Waters to pre-
pare for his son's homecoming as if the dead
could know. Perhaps there did remain to him
some of the mysticism to which his New England
birth and ancestry gave him right. It would not
have assorted illy with his bleak nature. Per-
haps he believed that Tom would know. How-
ever it was, he had determined that all should
be quite as the young man would have liked it
had he come home with conscious eyes to see and
light with pleasure at what he saw.
To Mary the house was very desolate, and a
rush of sad emotions swept over her as she looked
at the familiar things arranged by an alien hand.
" Tom would hardly know the place now, if he
could see it," she told her father.
But he replied, " Never mind, never mind, it
shall all be set right before he comes. He shall
find nothing to his distaste."
The saddest duty they had was the arrange-
ment of his room. The old man still followed his
276 THE FANATICS
strange whim, and had the chamber arranged as
if a living guest were to occupy it. The bed was
laid as Tom would have had it laid, and the fresh
sheets turned back as if to receive his tired form.
In the vases was the late golden-rod, always a
great favorite with him. But on his pillows were
the marks of tears which Nannie had shed as she
smoothed their soft whiteness, and knew that his
brown head would never press them again.
To her a great change had come. In spite of
the pride and fortitude which bore her up, the
light and spontaneity had gone out of her life.
She might laugh again, but it would never be
with the old free ring. In spirit, she was already
Tom's wife, and she was now as much widowed
as any woman who had followed her husband to
the grave. That she bore her burden better than
Mary, was largely due to the practical strength
of her love for Tom. Had he lived, she would
have been glad to welcome and help him. As he
was dead, she was no less his and waited the
time when she might join him. Mary might
weep for him, but she would wait for him, be-
lieving that no such love as hers was given to
mortals to wither and die without fruition. This
love held her so utterly above ordinary opinions
and conventions that she did not think to ask
what would be said of her entering her lover's
house as one of the family. It was nothing to
HOMECOMING OF THE CAPTAIN 277
her. It was a matter of course. There was a
certain joy in feeling that she had the right to
help and in seeing hour after hour that Tom's
father and sister leaned more and more upon her
It was on the third day after the news of the
battle that Tom's body was brought home, one
mute mourner accompanying it — Nigger Ed.
Those were strenuous times and there was no
opportunity for fine courtesies, for escorts and
officer pall-bearers, even for that brave one, but
the flag was wrapped around him, the flag he had
fought and died for.
His father was very calm as he looked at the
boyish face so cold and still before him. Death
had been kind to the soldier and had come
quickly, leaving him almost unaltered. He lay
as if he had fallen asleep with bright dreams of
a purposeful to-morrow. There was none of the
horror or dread of battle impressed upon his
marble countenance, nothing that could cause the
woman who loved him best of all to shrink from
Bradford Waters stooped and kissed his son's
brow. There was a smile on his own lips.
Even Mary forgot to weep. This was the maj-
esty, the beauty of death. Nannie hovered over
him as she would over a flower. They were
alone together — these three, when a knock, soft
278 THE FANATICS
and hesitating, fell upon the door. Bradford
opened it to find without the negro Ed. He
silently motioned him to enter.
" Dey tol' me to gin you dis when you was
settled," he said. He handed Waters a letter.
It was from Colonel Bassett, Tom's commanding
officer, and ran,
" Dear Sir, I wish I knew how to pay tribute
to the finest man and most gallant gentleman I
ever knew — your son. I wish I might have
shown him the respect that I feel and come with
his body to see it laid in its last resting-place, but
this is war. I would condone with you, sir, but
that I know the father of such a son must be
proud to have had him die where and as he
It was a soldier's letter and though Waters
read it with trembling voice, his eyes glowed and
he looked at the still form as if to say, " I would
not have had it otherwise."
Ed was still standing, waiting for the father to
speak. But Waters said nothing. The negro
shifted uneasily, then he said anxiously, " Is you
mad at me, Mistah Watahs ? Has de cunnel said
anythin' ? Dey wouldn't have sont me home
wid him, but I baiged, 'cause I kinder thought
you'd ravah have somebody — dat knowed him —
bring him back."
Waters reached out and grasped the black
HOMECOMING OF THE CAPTAIN 279
man's hand. " Why, God bless you forever and
ever," he said.
The privacy of the family even with its dead
could not long be maintained. Dorbury had
suspended business. This hero was theirs as well
as his family's. They filled the sidewalks, they
surged at the doors. They would see him. They
would bring their flowers to lay beside his bier.
He belonged to them, to them, who had helped
to send him forth and had cheered his departure.
Bradford Waters should not be selfish in his
grief. The boys from the factories and ware-
houses came, and also from the shops, those who
had known him and those who had not. All
men know a hero. And the father said, " Let
them come in, he will be glad to see them."
And so " the captain " came home.
A TROUBLESOME SECRET
For a long time curiosity was rampant in a
little country district not very far from Cincin-
nati. It was the proverbial rural locality where
every one knows or wishes to know the business
of every one else, and is offended if he doesn't.
In this particular place, the object of interest was
a white farmhouse set forward on the road, and
fronting ample grounds both of field and garden.
It was the home of John Metzinger, a pros-
perous German husbandman and his good wife,
Gretchen. They were pleasant, easy-going peo-
ple, warm-hearted and generous. Their neigh-
bors had always looked upon them with favor,
until one day — it was early in August, the eye of
suspicion fell upon the house. Those who had
lived near the Metzingers, and those who merely
passed upon the road to and from town began to
point questioning fingers at the place and to look
askance at it. The gossips shook their heads and
It all began with one woman who had uncere-
A TKOUBLESOME SECRET 281
moniously " dropped in " on the couple ; " drop-
ping in" consisting of pushing open the door
and entering unannounced by the formality of a
knock. The easy-going neighbor had pursued
this course only to find the door of an inner
room hastily closed and the good wife profuse in
embarrassed expostulations. Mrs. Metzinger was
not good at dissimulation, and her explanation
that the room was all torn up for she was house-
cleaning served but to arouse her visitor's sus-
picion. In her own words as she told it many
times later, she said with fine indignation,
" Think o' her sayin' to me that she was cleanin'
house, an' she with as spick an' span a white
apern on as ever you see. Says I to her, ' Ain't
you pickin' out a funny time to clean, Mrs.
Metzinger?' and she says with that Dutch
brogue o' hers, ' Oh, I cleans anydimes de place
gets dirty.' Then I says ca'm like, because I've
alius liked that woman, * I should think you'd
get yer apern dirty,' an' all of a sudden she
jerked it off an' stood there grinnin' at me ; but
that was what give her away, for lo, an' behold,
her dress was as clean as my bran' new calico.
Then I says, ' Well, never min', I'll just come in
an' help you,' an' would you believe it, that
woman got right in my way an' wouldn't let me
go in that room, all the time jabbering some-
thing about 'Nod troublin' me.' Right then an'
282 THE FANATICS
there, thinks I, there's something wrong in that
She closed her remarks as one who says,
" There's murder behind that door."
Her hearers were struck by her tragic presen-
tation of the case, and they too, began to watch
for signs of guilt in the Germans. These were
soon plentiful. None was more convincing than
that a room that had always been open to the
light had now its blinds closed. Some one had
said too, that they had seen the doctor's gig at
the door one night, and had waited for him to
come out. But on questioning him, as any man
has a right to do, " Who's sick, doctor ? " he had
sprung into his vehicle, put whip to his horse
and dashed away without answering. This in
itself, looked dark. For why should a doctor of
all men, refuse to be questioned about his pa-
tients ? The little scattered community for
three or four miles and even further up and
down the road was awe-struck and properly in-
dignant. Such communities have no respect for
Meanwhile the trouble went on, and the Metz-
ingers grew in disfavor. What had been friendly
greetings degenerated into stiff nods or grew
into clumsily veiled inquiries. While their
neighbors lost sleep asking each other what
horror was going on behind those closed doors,
A TROUBLESOME SECRET 283
the simple couple went on about their duty and
kept their counsel. It was really not so much
the horror that the community resented but that
the particulars of it were being kept from them.
If the Metzingers could have told their story,
it would have proved, after all, a very short and
simple one. It would have been to the effect
that late one night towards the end of July,
they had been awakened by the tramping of feet
and a knocking upon their door. Going thither,
they had found four men unkempt and mud-
stained, who bore between them another, evi-
dently wounded. They had brought him and
laid him upon the sofa, and then with promises,
that were half threats, had left him in their care.
They came then to know who their visitors were ;
some of " Morgan's terrible men." Their prom-
ises to respect the farmer's stock had not been
needed to secure attention for their wounded
comrade, for the good wife's heart had gone out
already to the young fellow who lay there so
white and drabbled with blood.
John Metzinger would have told, though his
good wife would never have mentioned it, how
all that night and the next day, Gretchen had
hovered over the wounded man, bandaging his
arm, bathing it, and doing what she could to
ease the pain, while the sufferer muttered strange
things in his sleep and tossed like a restless child.
284 THE FANATICS
They could not get a doctor until the next
night, for they knew that all must proceed with
secrecy, and when the physician came, the fever
had already set in and the chances for the man's
recovery seemed very slight.
They could have told too, of the doctor's long
fight with the fever, and what the gossips did
not know, how one night two physicians came
and amputated the wounded arm at the elbow.
Then of the long fight for life through the hot
August days, of the terrible nights when Death
seemed crowding into the close room and the
sufferer lay gasping for breath. But they told
nothing. Silently they went their way, grieved
by the distrust of those about them, but unfalter-
ing in their course. And when Yan Doren first
looked up weakly enough into the German
woman's face, his eyes full of the gratitude he
could not speak, both she and her John were re-
paid for all that they had suffered.
The woman fell upon her knees by the bed-
side saying, " Dank Got, dank Got, he vill gid
veil now, Shon," and " Shon" who was very big
and very much a man, pressed his wife's hand
and went behind the door to look for something
that was not there.
With the cooler weather of autumn came
more decided convalescence to the young trooper,
but the earliest snows had fallen before he was
A TEOUBLESOME SECEET 285
able to creep to the door that looked out upon
the road. He was only the shadow of his former
self. Mrs. Metzinger looked at him, full of
"I guess you petter led de toctor wride by
your home now. Dey vill vant to hear from
" Not yet, not yet," he protested. " It would
cause my father too much anxiety, and some
others perhaps, too much joy to know how I am
" Your poor fader, dough, he vill be vorried
" Father knows the chances of war and he will
not begin to worry yet. It would grieve him so
much more to know that I am out of it all so
" Mister Robert," said the woman impressively,
"you don't know faders. Dey vas yoost like
modders, pretty near, und modders, alvays vants
to know ; if he is veil, she is glad und she dank
Got for dat. If he is det, she vants to gry und
gry ofer dose leedle shoes dot he used to vear."
" He shall know, he shall know, Mrs. Metz-
inger, and very soon, for I am going home to
him and his joy will make him forget how long
he has waited."
" Yes, I guess maype dot is so."
Robert had divined more by instinct than by
286 THE FANATICS
any outward demonstration of his hosts that his
secret stay in the house had aroused in their
neighbors some sort of feeling against these peo-
ple. He was perfectly sure that should he write
to his father, he would come to him in spite of
everything, and at any stir or unusual commo-
tion about the house, what was only smouldering
now might burst into flame. So, although it
wrung his heart to do so, living within sixty
miles of his father, he kept his lips closed and
gave no sign. His heart had gone out to these
people who had sacrificed so much for him, and
he wanted to do something in return for them.
At first, because of his very weakness, they had
forborne to question him about his home and peo-
ple, and when he was strong enough to act, he
had unconsciously accepted this silence as his sac-
rifice, without divining that he was not the real
sufferer, not the real bearer of the burden.
He had promised that he would go home soon,
but the case had been a severe one, and it was
December before he dared to venture out beyond
the gate. Sometimes, when the days were warm
and bright, he would sit wrapped up on the
porch at the side, for the need of secrecy gone,
the Metzingers were openly and humanly un-
humble. They bowed proudly, even jauntily to
their detractors, while the priest and the Levites
passed by on the other side. There were no
A TROUBLESOME SECRET 287
good Samaritans about save the Metzingers them-
selves, and their little devices might have gone
unobserved, but that the priest and the Levites
were curious people, and at last, came over to.
"Who is the sick young man?" they ques-
"He iss a friend of ours from de var," Mrs.
Metzinger answered them.
" We'd like to talk to him," they volunteered.
"No, he must not talk to beoples, not yet,"
was the answer.
" Why don't he wear his uniform ? " Robert
wore a suit of " Shon's " jeans.
"It was yoost ruint and all spoilt mit blood."
But they looked at Robert askance, and the
gossip which for awhile from inaction had fal-
tered, sprang up anew. Who was he ? Why so
little about him ? Why had they kept the secret
so long ?
The good people saw with dismay what they
had done. They had only aroused the trouble
which they had hoped to allay. Van Doren saw
their trouble and determined immediately to re-
" I am going home now," he told them one
" You are not yet so strong."
" Oh, yes I am. I'm quite a giant now."
288 THE FANATICS
"Vat you dinks Shon? Iss he strong
enough ? "
"I dinks he gan stay here so long as he
" But I am going, my good friends, it's best for
" I have seen how the neighbors look at me
and I have seen how they look at you. You
shan't hurt yourselves any longer."
" Dat iss not right. We care nodings for de
neighbors. Ye minds our own business."
Mrs. Metzinger's husband said something under
his breath, only a word it was, but it made his
wife gasp and cry, " Shon, for shame on you ! "
"I'm going," Robert went on, "either with
your consent or without. I don't know how I'm
ever going to thank you. You've both been so
good. It's nasty in a case like this to think of
pay. I can't do it decently, but I'm going to do
it. It's the nearest way a brute of a man can
come to showing his appreciation."
" No pay," said John.
" Not vun cent," said his wife.
" Ye had some gompany," Gretchen put in.
Robert smiled on ; they were so like big
" I am not going to let you two cheat me out
of showing my gratitude by any such excuse."
A TKOUBLESOME SECEET 289
Gretchen wept and John caused his wife to
exclaim again, but it was of no use, and just at
dusk, the old carryall took him away to the sta-
tion, still in his host's suit, the empty sleeye
turned up, and the stump of arm flapping at his
It was about an hour after John had gone
with Eobert to the station, that Mrs. Metzinger
heard footsteps, and going to the door saw sev-
eral men without.
" We want that man that's stayin' here," said
"He's yoost gone to his home in Dorbury."
"In Dorbury — why we thought — what side
was he on ? "
Mrs. Metzinger drew herself up in dignified
anger and said, " I don'd dink Got has any sides,
Deacon Callvell," then she slammed the door,
and the deacon and his " Committee" went away
feeling small, and glad that it was dark, while
Mrs. Metzinger rocked out her pious anger until
the floor cried again.
ROBERT VAN DOREN GOES HOME
There was no blare of trumpets, no popular
acclaim to greet Kobert Yan Doren's home-
coming. He entered Dorbury alone and unwel-
comed, weary and sick at heart. It was half -past
eight o'clock when his train drew into the famil-
iar station, and the winter night had settled
heavy and black. A familiar form came towards
him as he walked down the platform, and sadly
changed as he was, he saw the light of recogni-
tion in the man's eyes. The next instant, he was
looking at the stern lines of an averted face. He
shuddered and hurried on as rapidly as his weak-
ness would allow. Although he had often in his
moments of convalescence pictured dimly how he
would be received at home, yet the actuality was
so much stronger and harsher than any anticipa-
tion of it could be that he was quite unmanned.
For the first time it came to him that he was an
alien in the land of his adoption, and even upon
the dark streets, he shrank from the people he
met because he knew his face would be to them
YAJST DOREN GOES HOME 291
as a leper's, and even the empty sleeve, the badge
of honor to so many of them, would read only to
these people, " Unclean, unclean."
He was bending his steps towards his father's
house, absorbed in bitter thoughts, when a sort
of divination, rather than the appearance of
things roused him from his revery. He looked
around upon the place, the houses, the lawns, and
then a lighted window caught his eye and he
realized that he was passing Bradford Waters'
" I wonder if she is back at home ? " he said.
" I caused her so much grief." He passed
through the gate, and crept up to the window.
The light shone through a thin shade, but he
could see nothing within the house. After a
short while, however, he heard the sound of
women's voices, and one was hers. Without
warning, all the pent-up feeling of the past three
years burst forth in the cry, " Mary ! "
" What's that ? " cried some one within, but
there was no answer save the hurried tread of
feet across the floor. Aware of what he had
done, he was hurrying away, when the front
door was thrown open, and he saw her before
him standing in a flood of light. Then he could
not go. He stood transfixed until she walked
down the steps to him crying, " Robert, Robert, I
was sure you would come ! " And all he could
292 THE FANATICS
do was to bow his head and murmur, " Thank
She took him by the hand and led him into the
house, he unresisting.
" Here is Robert," she said to Nannie. " Did
I not tell you he would come ? "
" Yes, and I am glad with you." Her greet-
ing of Robert was tender, almost sisterly. As
soon as she could do so tactfully, she left the
room, and Yan Doren's glance followed her
questioningly. He could not understand her
subdued manner, her sad face. Mary saw the
look in his eyes and asked,
" Do you not know, then ? "
" No," he answered, " what is it ? "
" Tom— not— dead ? "
" Dead, yes."
" Yes, at Mission Ridge, nearly a month ago,"
and she told of all that had happened, while he
sat like one dazed.
Finally he broke in, " Tom dead, I living, why
is this ? Why this choice of the brave instead of
the lukewarm, the soldier instead of the raider ? "
" Robert, Robert, you are not yourself. I
weep for my brother, but you, I have you
For answer he raised his empty sleeve.
VAN DOKEISr GOES HOME 293
"Ah, Robert, you don't know. I love you.
Here are two arms — yours."
He kissed her cheek silently, and then a sound
made them start apart and stare into each other's
faces with parted lips. Some one was on the
step. There was but one person whom it could
" Quick, quick," said Mary, opening a door
into the next room. " In here." And Robert
hurried in just as Bradford "Waters entered, find-
ing Mary troubled and embarrassed. He stood
looking at her with a sad face, and then he said,
"Mary, you grieve me very much. Has all
the past been so hard that you cannot forget it ?
Has not the past month proven that I am a
changed man and that you need hide nothing
from me ? "
" Yes, father, forgive me." And going to the
door she called, " Eobert ! "
Yan Doren came in with a defiant look on his
face which vanished at sight of Waters' out-
" Why — why — Mr. Waters," he stammered
" Yes, yes, I know, my boy, but I'm glad to
see you back, Robert."
Robert grasped the old man's hand and wrung
it warmly. " I'm so glad you're reconciled to
me, you didn't like me before."
294 THE FANATICS
" ISTo more of that, no more of that. I always
liked you, but I didn't like your principles. I've
seen sorrow though, and I look at things differ-
" Mary has told me and it grieved me
" You know then, that the captain has come
home ? "
" Yes, would to God that I might have come
" Tut, tut, have you been home ? "
" No, I was on my way there, when I heard
Mary's voice and stopped."
" You must go to him at once now, he will be
" Do you think I dare go to him myself ? I'm
afraid he thinks me dead."
" I have no doubt. Let Mary go with you
and break the news to him. Go on."
Mary hastened to put on her hat and cloak,
and together the two went out, leaving the old
man standing by the mantel looking at them
with strange tenderness. Robert turned at the
door and looked back. " You will never know
what you have done, Mr. Waters, to make my
homecoming less than a tragedy to me," he said
" It was Tom, not I," said Waters gently.
The house looked very dismal as Mary and
YAN DOREN GOES HOME 295
Robert approached it, and the latter's heart
" Has my father seemed to grieve much ? " he
" He has been absorbed and preoccupied, but
his faith was like mine. We knew you would
"I have heard of the faith that is stronger
than death, but I always thought it a meaning-
less phrase until now. Bless you both."
Stephen Yan Doren was drowsing by his
library fire when Mary was admitted, but with
the courtesy of his kind, he rose and went nimbly
to meet her, apologizing meanwhile for his dress-
ing-gown and slippers.
"But, my dear child," he exclaimed, "what
brings you here at this hour ? "
" Mr. Yan Doren," Mary faltered, her face all
" Stop," he exclaimed, " whether the dead can
come to life or not, no girl can show a face like
that, unless she has seen her lover. What is it ? "
" I have seen him, he is here in the hall."
Yan Doren took a step forward, and then
stood trembling, but Robert had thrown the
door open and rushed to his father.
" Father ! "
" My boy ! "
This was in the days before men grew too old
296 THE FANATICS
to embrace their fathers, and bearded cheeks and
lips met. The father's arms were about his son
and the empty sleeve fell under his hand. He
held it up and then pushed his son from him.
His head drooped sadly for a moment, but there
was a look of exaltation on his face.
"Father — father, don't let that grieve you.
I — I — lost it honorably."
Stephen Van Doren's head went up like a
bull's when he scents resistance. " Grieve me,"
he cried, and then turning to Mary, he said,
" Now, my dear, I can show your father that and
talk to him upon more nearly equal terms.
Why, boy, you've won your spurs, if you haven't
got them. To us of the newer land, an empty
sleeve, when gallantly won is what the Victoria
Cross is to an Englishman."
Robert flushed and moved away a pace further
from his father. " But you do not know all."
" All ? You said it was won honestly — that is
The young soldier looked appealingly at Mary.
" I shall have to tell you all," he said.
" I will go, Robert," she said ; " it was wrong
for me to stay so long, but this meeting has given
me such joy as I have never known before."
She turned towards the door.
" You must not go," he cried, detaining her,
" it is for you also to know. It belongs to you."
VAN DOREN GOES HOME 297
" To me ? "
" To you — yes."
"You remember that night of nights," he
asked her softly. " Do they know of it ? "
" No, I have never dared to tell them so wild
" I will tell it now, then."
" You may, Robert, they will believe you, every
Then briefly Robert told his father of the
strange meeting with Mary that had resulted in
his wound. " I don't know what you will say,"
he ended, " and I don't know what it means."
"It means God," said his father solemnly.
" He sent her. Think of it as an old man's fancy
if you will, but he lighted one of his own torches
at the moment that you might see each other's
" Oh, Robert," cried Mary. " Then it was for
me ? "
" Yes, darling. Father forgive us, but Mary
" Why, Mary, child, you show more sense than
that great hulking, one-armed hero."
" Hero — father ! "
"The man who is old enough to have done a
noble deed and is not old enough to know it,
should be sent into a closet like a child."
298 THE FANATICS
" He does know it — he must know it. Eobert,
you must see it."
" Hero " was the word running through young
Yan Doren's brain and he did not understand.
He felt Mary's arms about him, he felt his
father's hand pressing his own and his thoughts
grew hazy. "Hero," how could he be a hero
when he was lying helpless when the best fight-
ing was going on, when — though he dared not
say it — he did not even know if his heart were
wholly with the cause.
His father's voice broke in upon his revery.
" Bob, you are the — well, look here, don't you
see what kind of a man he must be who dares to
ride away from his comrades and into the face of
the enemy, and alone, to save a woman ? "
" Yes, don't you see, Rob ? " said Mary eagerly.
" Why, I loved her," said Robert. " I loved
her, and forgive me, father, more than my cause."
" Unless you had had that in you that made
your cause strong and noble, you could not have
done it even for love."
" Have I pleased you ? "
" I am proud to be your father."
" And Mary, I didn't want to tell you — are
you hurt ? "
" Hurt with the sort of a hurt that a woman — "
she started impulsively towards her lover and
then paused abashed.
YAN DOKEIST GOES HOME 299
" Never check a good impulse," said old Van
Doren. " I am now looking at the portrait of
The two young people improved the opportu-
nity. The old man showed consideration in
the length of time he spent admiring the portrait.
But a hurried knock on the door recalled their
A servant with a frightened face entered.
" There's a lot of men at the door," he said.
"What do they want?" asked Van Doren
" They — they say that there is a rebel in here,
and they want him."
" Go back to them and say," said the old man,
his voice ringing like a trumpet, " that there is
no rebel here, but a soldier and the son of a sol-
dier, and if they want to see him, he is at their
service when he knows their business with him."
The servant retired.
" The hounds have begun to bay already," said
Kobert, his face set and dogged, though he patted
Mary's hair as she clung fearfully to him.
" The hounds ! " said his father, bringing from
his desk a brace of pistols that had seen service,
" you mean the curs. The hounds know their
true game. Can you use your left hand ? "
" As well as my right."
The father tried vainly to hide his satisfaction
300 THE FANATICS
as he handed his son a weapon. Outside a clamor
arose, which grew louder and louder, and the
servant came flying back. " They say you must
" So they are afraid to chance it where there's
a man's chance," said Robert. " Come, father, let
us go to them. You are right, they are curs, not
hounds, after all."
Mary moved forward with them.
"No, dear, stay here."
" I will not, Robert, I have no fear for myself.
I am going with you. If you die, I do not want
to live. I am going."
" Think of your father."
"Do you think of my brother? Would he
have me do less ? "
The cries were growing fiercer every moment,
and the father at the door cried, " Come on," and
stepped out as if eager to meet a crowd of en-
thusiastic admirers. They passed along the hall,
threw open the front door and stepped out into
the blaze of light which fell from the chandelier
within. At their appearance a hoarse cry rose
from the lips of the mob, for mob it was, low, ig-
" There he is — the rebel ! "
" Rebel's too good for him — copperhead's the
name ! "
" Traitor ! "
YAN DOKEJST GOES HOME 301
They stood calmly upon the steps, the three.
Robert, pale but dauntless ; his father as fixed as
a statue, and Mary just behind them, like a spirit
of Justice, with eyes unbound.
When their attitude had somewhat quieted the
tumult, Stephen Van Doren spoke, and his voice
was calm and hard. " Well, gentlemen," he said,
" what is it that you want of us ? "
" We want your son. We want that damned
copperhead that's joined the rebels and been kill-
ing our boys. That's what we want," came the
reply in fifty voices.
" There is no traitor and no copperhead here,"
Van Doren went on. " My son, it is true, is here,"
and he bowed to Kobert as if he were delivering
a complimentary address, " but he is none of the
things which you name. He is a man who has
fought for his convictions, and has returned here
where he has as good a right as any of you. He
is here, I say, and if any or all of you want him,
damn you, come and take him ! "
The old man's voice had risen, and at the mo-
ment both he and Robert, as if by a preconcerted
signal, raised their pistols and levelled them at the
foremost ranks of the mob. Intimidated at this
defiance, the crowd fell back. Just then a rock
hurtled past Van Doren's head, and crashed
through a window. The noise was like an elec-
302 THE FANATICS
trie shock to the rabble's failing energies, and
with the cry, " Come on, rock them ! " they started
forward again, those behind forcing the front
" Try not to kill any of the fools," the father
whispered briefly to his son.
They were both pressing their triggers and the
forward men were on the first step, when a new
cry, " Waters, Waters ! " checked their advance,
and a man with flowing white hair who had been
thrusting his way through the crowd, also
mounted the step. The mob thought it had found
a new champion, and again yelling, "Waters,
Waters ! " rushed forward, but Waters turned
and faced them, waving his arms.
" Back, back, you cowards ! " he cried. They
paused in amazement, as he backed slowly up the
steps. When they took in his meaning, they at-
tempted another rush, but he stood above them,
and suddenly from beneath his coat he tore a long
whip with leaden tipped thongs.
" Back," he cried, wielding it with terrific force
into the faces and over the heads of the leaders.
" Take this, this is for dogs. Back to your ken-
nels, I say ! "
His face was terrible, and the men in front
quickly turned and began fighting their way to
the rear. Others followed, and a panic seized
upon them. When Waters stood alone, and the
VAN DOKEN GOES HOME 303
mob at a safe distance began sullenly to gather,
some one shouted, " If it wasn't for your son's
sake, Waters, we'd kill you."
Waters indicated that he wished to speak,
and they became silent with the silence of watch-
" If it were not for my son's sake ! " he said.
" I gave him for the cause of right and decency,
and I am willing to give myself. What right
has any of you who joins so cowardly an attack
as this to take upon his lips the name of a brave
man ? Let never a man who was in this mob to-
night utter my son's name again, or by the God
who rules over us, I will kill him ! " A breath
like a shudder passed over the rabble, and Waters
went on, " I have lost and I have the right to
demand the full worth of my sacrifice, and you
who know my loss, have no right to deny me
this." He moved up beside Robert, and putting
his hand on his shoulder, said, " This man shall
stand to me in lieu of the son I have lost, and
his empty sleeve shall be the sign of an eternal
compact between us, the badge of honor which
it is. He is mine, not yours. Mine, by the
blood of my son, mine by the void in my heart.
Touch him, if you dare ! Go home," and he
began moving down the steps, his whip grasped
tightly in his hand. " Go home, I say, or I'll
whip you there."
304 THE FANATICS
The mob fell back, and just then the orderly-
tramping of feet was heard and a rush was made
in an opposite direction as the police arrived on
the scene, late and reluctant.
The four turned and went silently into the
house. They sat silent, too, in the library, all
too tense for speech, until Waters said, " Come,
Mary, let us go. You need have no fear of
further trouble, Bob, the captain will be about.
Steve, I disagree with you very much in your
last article in the Diurnal. You are all wrong,
but I'll talk to you about that to-morrow. Good-
night. Come, Mary. It is strange how fanatical
some men will be on a subject."
In the after days, it was as Bradford Waters
had said, and Robert Yan Doren experienced no
further trouble at the hands of the mob. In-
deed, no man was willing to be known as having
been a member of the party. When it was talked
about in public, men turned their faces away and
did not meet each others' eyes. In so small a
town, it was inevitable that many of the partici-
pants in such an affair should be known, but no
name was ever mentioned, and the matter was
not pressed. However, there was something sus-
picious about the manner in which some men
avoided Bradford Waters, and kept silent when
others spoke his son's name.
In the close counsels which took place between
the two families, formerly so far apart, Robert
had suggested that perhaps it would be better
for him to go away from Dorbury to some place
where he was not known ; but both Waters and
his father strenuously objected to that.
" No," said the latter, " there are times when
306 THE FANATICS
concessions must be made to the prejudices of
people. There are other times when it is no less
than righteous to ride them down."
" Your father is right. Had I lived in the
South with my early training and bent of
thought, I should have had no better sense
than to stand up for my principles just as he
did. I should have resented any Southerner's
question of my right to do so. The trouble with
us all is that we will not allow others the right
which we demand for ourselves."
"I think the trouble with us all is that we
talk a great deal about free thought and free
speech, meaning that others shall have both as
long as they think and speak as we do. No,
Eob, you stay right here. Dorbury's got to ac-
cept you just as you are."
And Kobert stayed. There were those who
looked askance at him, and those who could not
be reconciled to him, but no one troubled him.
As the war drew to a close, and the continued
victories of the Union filled the people with en-
thusiasm, they even began to grow friendly to-
wards him, but he was slow to receive their ad-
vances. He was much with Mary and the stream
of their love that had been so turbulent, now
flowed smoothly and sweetly. Together, they
tried to cheer Nannie. " Cheer " is hardly the
word either, for she had never lost a certain
lightness of spirit that would not let her be en-
tirely cast down. But they tried to bring back
the old gayety of her manner that had been her
chief charm. She was now back and forth be-
tween the Waters' and her own home, and was
full of the sweetness of good words and good
works on every hand. She was called " Little
Miss Nannie," and men had already begun to
pay to her that delicate deference which is
given to a woman who will never marry. She
was always, and would always be " Miss Nannie."
" I wish, Nannie," Mary said to her one day,
"that I could give you a part of my happiness."
" You poor child," she said, " don't you know
that I am very happy. I am happier than any
one could ever imagine. I have a lover who
will always be young and a love that cannot
grow cold. Don't worry about me, I am blest
beyond most women."
So they let her go her way and their hearts
ceased to ache for her as they saw how cheerful
she grew with the joy of doing good. So Nannie
began, and so she went on through the years until
the end, like a fair flower dying away in its own
perfume. There was no selfishness in her sub-
dued sweetness, for when the soldiers came back
no one was dearer to them than their dead cap-
308 THE FANATICS
The horror of the war has been written of, the
broken homes and the broken hearts, but many a
life was made sweeter for the fiery trial through
which it passed. Stephen Yan Doren was
stern and implacable until the end. Robert was
with him when the news of the surrender came.
A shiver passed over his body as if he himself,
were the Confederacy which was dying. Then
he took his son's hand, and said with a smile,
"Well, a principle has been tested and failed.
We must submit to the inevitable. From now
on — it is the Union," and he opened his window
to hear the bells and whistles that proclaimed
the people's rejoicings.
The war was ended, but there were gaping
wounds to bind up and deep sores that needed
careful nursing. The country had been drenched
with fraternal blood and the stench of it was an
ill savor in the nostrils of both North and South.
Grant was a hero, but men were asking, " What
is McClellan ? " The homecoming soldiers, worn
and weary with the long campaign, were being
dropped along the waj^side from every train.
Some homes were hung with evergreens for glad-
ness and others were draped with cypress for
those who would never come back. Dorbury had
its share of joy and grief. There were returns
and there were messages from those who would
not return; from lovers, husbands, fathers and
brothers. But above the note of sadness was one
of joy, for joy is more persistent than grief, if
A little after Appomattox, Robert and Mary
were married and went to live in a little home of
their own where the two fathers were destined
to come many an evening thereafter to fight
over the war, talk politics and wrangle as
heartily as ever.
Down in Virginia wounded and broken and
sore, her heart bleeding for her lost cause and
her lost sons ; her fields devastated, and her re-
sources depleted, a solemn tone characterized the
thanksgiving for the war's end. Walter Stewart
thanked God for the triumph of the Union, but
wept for the grief of his state. Just about the
time that Eobert and Mary were united, he and
Dolly were married in the little vine-covered
church by the rector who had looked askance at
him a few years before.
And they were happy with the happiness of
youth. Nelson Etheridge had come back safe.
Dr. Daniel, now with a major's stripes, walked
much in the garden with Emily, from whom, be-
fore going away, he had gained a certain
Stewart had indeed come to his own again,
and he would have been a delight to his father's
eyes could the old colonel have seen him riding
310 THE FANATICS
about the plantation among the negroes who re-
mained, and directing the repair of the damages
which the war had made. He would never go
back to Dorbury now, but his memory oft re-
verted to the old scenes and old acquaintances.
His description of JSTigger Ed had so pleased
Dolly that it resulted in the receipt of the follow-
ing letter by that gentleman one day in Dor-
" My Deak Ed : — You will remember me as
one of the boys who used to run around the
streets after you years ago, and later as one of
the First, when you were in command. If you
will come down here where there are lots of your
people, I'll give you a position on my plantation
where you won't be teased. Let me know if you
will come. It will be much better than going
about ringing an old bell.
" Walter Stewart."
With this letter the negro marched into the
office of one of Dorbury's young lawyers one
day. The lawyer had been with the First.
" I want you to read dis an' answeh it, mistah
— 'scuse me — lootenant."
The young fellow took it and his face flushed
as he read it.
" Uh huh," said Ed, "now you answer it, please
" All right," the young fellow scribbled for a
moment, and then turned saying, "I think you'd
better make it a telegram, Ed."
" Shorter, more expressive."
"Les' hyeah it."
The young man picked up the slip of paper
and read slowly and carefully, "Mr. Walter
Stewart, Stewart House, Kockford Co., Virginia.
You be damned."
Ed started as if he had been shot, and then
said hastily, " Oh, no, lootenant. I reckon I
won't send dat. A telegram's too 'spressive."
" How dare he send for you ? " the young man
broke in. " You belong to Dorbury. You're a
part of it."
"Yes, co'se I is, but I wants to be 'spressive
and curtchus too. Jes' you write an' tell him
some'p'n 'bout me wanting to 'tain my 'ficial
This advice was taken and the result was that
"Walter threw the household into convulsions
over an epistle couched in the most elegant lan-
guage which informed Mr. Stewart that while he
appreciated the very kind offer, the writer — Ed
couldn't write a line — preferred to retain his
official position, in view of the fact that the emol-
uments thereof had been materially increased.
And it was true. There were men who had
312 THE FANATICS
seen that black man on bloody fields, which were
thick with the wounded and dying, and these
could not speak of him without tears in their eyes.
There were women who begged him to come in
and talk to them about their sons who had been
left on some Southern field, wives who wanted to
hear over again the last words of their loved
ones. And so they gave him a place for life and
everything he wanted, and from being despised
he was much petted and spoiled, for they were